THE Government has launched the National Mineral Resources Development Policy to reposition mineral resource management, guide the development of the sector and boost revenue generation.
Mines and Mineral Development Minister Paul Kabuswe said during the launch of National Mineral Resources Development Policy in Lusaka yesterday that this marked the new era in the mining sector under the new dawn administration.
“As you are all aware mining is the dominant industry as the mainstay of the economy and accounts for 17.5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), over 70 per cent of the foreign exchange earnings, 30 per cent of Government revenue and two per cent of the formal employment.
Therefore, the role of the sector cannot be overemphasised because it was one of key drivers in fostering economic development in our country,” he said.
He said the mining industry was governed by the 2013 Mineral Resources Development Policy but realised that there was need to realign the general policy of the Government with the sector policy.
Furthermore, he said the Government needed to realign it with the Government’s vision to attain three million tonnes of copper in the next 10 years as well as the vision of harnessing small and artisanal miners.
“To us this vision is critical and everything has to be in line with the United Party for National Development (UPND). As the Government, we are alive to the fact that mining in the present and near future still remains a key player in economic development of our country and as such it needs to be given the serious it deserves,” Mr Kabuswe said.
He added that the ministry of Finance and National Planning had increased financing to the ministry of Mines and Mineral Development, as last year’s allocation was K95 million compared to K278 million this year.
“Now that in itself shows you the intention of this Government that we really want to upscale mining in this country and gives it the importance it deserves… it’s still not enough but we are moving somewhere,” Mr Kabuswe said.
Mines Permanent Secretary Mooya Lumamba said having a robust and comprehensive policy that responded to the needs of the industry players was cardinal for the sector to thrive.
Mr Lumamba said the formulation and launch of the policy could not have come at a better time than now when the Government was positioning the mining sector for enhanced performance.
“As the Government we are excited to launch this policy which aims at addressing the inadequacies identified during the 2013 Mineral Resources Development Policy. In addition, the new policy will guide the development and management of mineral resources that the country is indulged with,” he said.
He said the policy would facilitate an increase in the contribution of the sector to Government revenue as well as job creation for the Zambian people.