Emulate Mopani, EAZ tell mines

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BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes

@SunZambian

MINING companies in Zambia should emulate Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) and support the governments’ initiative to shore up revenues needed for investment while preserving jobs in the sector, says the Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ).

EAZ national secretary Mutisunge Zulu, commended MCM for the commitment it has shown towards preservation of jobs following government decision to introduction a new mining tax regime.

Mr Zulu observed in a statement released to the Sun the need for mining firms to support the new mining tax regime.

He urged other mining companies to emulate Mopani and support the governments’ initiative to shore up revenues needed for investment in infrastructure development, education and other social needs.

“The association further commends the mining entity for embracing a mutually beneficial mature dialogue approach towards a win – win outcome for both the government and the mining company.

“Mopani is the first mining firm to commit to preservation of jobs and openly engage in mutually beneficial dialogue,” he said.

Mr Mutisunge further said the association also recognised the efforts of finance and mines ministries in facilitating open door policy, accommodating consultative meetings with the mines as they navigated around a win–win outcome.

The association, he said, was still confident that an amicable solution would be arrived at ultimately.

“EAZ would like to counter claims by international media that have been reporting that Zambia is pricing itself to competitiveness in the mining sector, following the new mining tax changes in mineral royalties,

“The association reiterates that Zambia, remains within similar tax brackets with its base metal peers the DR Congo, Tanzania and Chile. Its ore grade quality for copper remains one of the highest in the world,” he said.

Mopani Copper chief executive officer, Chris Vermeulen assured Government that there will not be retrenchments at the mine.

This comes in the wake of the recent impasse between the government and mining firms following the effecting of a new mining tax regime on January 1.

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