THE Government says it is setting up a mining commission to regulate and monitor the mining industry as it gets up to focus on economic growth, job creation and utilising business opportunities.
Mines and Minerals Development Minister Paul Kabuswe said yesterday that once established, the mining commission would supervise and regulate the proper and effective carrying out of the provisions of the industry.
He said the commission was also an orderly exploration and exploitation of mineral resources, among others.
Mr. Kabuswe said this during a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Zambia sponsored review meeting of the mining sector in Lusaka yesterday.
He said the ministry of Finance and National Planning had since provided funds for the implementation and setting up of the commission.
“We already have the concept, what we want to do is tailor it to our local mining regulations and also how we want to structure it. We want to tailor it as a Zambian thing although we got the idea from other people.
“Currently people have been sitting to look at different jurisdiction and also bring the idea together, so we will formally announce once it’s done and we want to assure the nation that the mining commission isss on cards,” he said.
Mr Kabuswe said the issue of formulating the commission was active at his ministry.
He said this would be structured according to the needs of Zambian, as guided by findings from tours to Tanzania and Ghana to learn more on how they managed their commissions.
Mr Kabuswe said the ministry would also revise the Mines and Minerals Act of 2015, but before that was done a policy framework must be completed, stating that they are now receiving submissions.
Finance and National Planning Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane acknowledged the importance of the mining industry and it’s contribution to Zambia’s economic growth.
Dr. Musokotwane indicated that the mining industry needed to be reviewed stating that the Government stood ready to receive advice from experts on matters bordering the mining industry and how to grow it for the benefit of the Zambian people.
On the economy, the minister stated main focus of the 2020 national budget was to bring stability in the economy, dealing with issues of excessive debt as that was affecting the exchange thereby rendering life very complicated for the ordinary citizens.
“Given the instability which was in the economy which was causing the exchange rate problems, eroding the confidence because who wants to invest in an economy whose exchange rate, whose inflation rate is running away so those had to be addressed,” he said.
Dr. Musokotwane said they had made significant progress in terms of bringing stability in the economy back online.
“We will keep that way but now we have to move on to address some of the fundamental problems that our society survives oon mainly issues having to do with sluggish economy that we have experienced in the last decade,” he said.
And PwC Zambia country senior partner Andrew Chibuye said clear data on mining to determine what actual mineral resources Zambia had was needed.
Mr. Chibuye also said the country needed strong regulator to deal with some of the issues in the mining industry.