Mines and Mineral Development Minister Paul Kabuswe has said the recent China visit by President Hakainde Hichilema has elevated the country’s bilateral relations to a higher level which should propel technological transfer in the mining industry.
Meanwhile, investments by NFC African Mining Limited have exceeded US$1.5 billion and a record US$350 million in tax contributions in the last 25 years.
Mr Kabuswe said this during the NFCA Mining 25 anniversary in Chambishi that the Government would be relying on mining giants such as NFCA to achieve the dream of attaining three million copper production per annum in the next decade.
“We will continue levelling the playing field in the mining industry to encourage investments in the mining industry, the fact that NFCA has been mining in Zambia in the last 25 years shows that Zambia is a good investment destination,” he said.
Mr Kabuswe said exceeding US$1.5 billion by the end of 2022 and contributing US$350 million in taxes to the Zambian Government was not a mean achievement.
He was confident that the planned expansion of the South East Ore Body (SOEB) which would result in increasing copper production to 110,000 would come along with employment boost and technology transfer looking at the level of automation.
Mr Kabuswe also warned against makeshift illegal mining activities saying the coming of a mining commission would not allow illegal miners going unpunished hence the need for all players to regularise operations.
He said in the coming year, the Government would facilitate and take part in extensive mineral mapping and exploration as part of the three million tonne strategic focus.
NFCA chief executive officer and chairperson Zhamyan Li said the company’s investment outlay had so far cumulated to US$1.5 billion which had seen 5,600 local jobs created.
Mr Zhamyan said the mining firm had also contributed a total of US$350 million in taxes as of 2022, plans to invest another US$400 million which will create 2,400 local job opportunities and increase its annual copper output to 110,000 tonnes upon reaching full capacity.
He said for 25 years in existence, the company had adhered to the concept of Zambia-China cooperation and common development and practiced the value of loyalty and responsibility.
“For the 25 years we have also always adhered to the principle of taking the lead with innovation and technology and a development goal of building a safe, green, intelligent and efficient mine,” he said.
Mr Zhamyan said the company remained committed to help Zambia build an ecological friendly economy while actively responding to the goal of annual production of three million tonnes of copper.
And China-Non- Ferrous Metal Mining Group Chairperson Zhengping Zi said the recent visit by President Hakainde Hichilema to China would help inject new impetus into Zambia’s economic and social development agenda.
ZCCM-IH Board Chairperson Kakenenwa Muyangwa said the institution appreciates the level of commitment from NFCA as it managed to pay US$10.1 million in dividends to ZCCM-IH for the financial years in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2022 respectively.
Mr Muyangwa said the board appreciates the level of commitment by NFCA in expanding the mine and creating jobs for the local people.