NCHIMUNYA CHIDAKWA writes
ZAMBIA’S copper production is set to fall by a massive 100,000 tonnes this year, says Zambia Chamber of Mines (ZCM) chief executive officer Sokwani Chilembo.
Mr Chilembo said this year’s production in May was around 750,000 tonnes compared to last year’s production of 860,000 tonnes, representing a drop of 100 which he said was bad for the sector.
He however said that ZCM had already submitted detailed mining tax proposal aimed at resuscitating the Zambian mining sector.
In a statement Mr Chilembo confirmed the drop in copper production during the period under review.
“This is a distance continental second behind the Democratic Republic of Congo who trailed our volumes for 75 years until 2013 and now forecast above 1,200 million tonnes of production in 2019,” he said
Meanwhile, Zambia was expected to drop-off the global top ten copper producers list of the world.
“As government considers the 2020 Budget and adjustments to the current mining tax regime, the Zambia Chamber of Mines is hopeful that the downturn in industry performance and outlook will be viewed against the backdrop of recent policy outcomes within the region,
“With this current tax regime, we have slipped into reverse while Zimbabwe and Namibia have reviewed an earlier position to make mineral royalties non-deductible,” he said
He said however that Zambian government has made the prudent decision to suspend implementation of non-deductibility for a year to allow for a more thorough risk assessment of its impact.
The Chamber’s hope was that the full submission would receive rigorous consideration to secure an outcome that would grow production above a million tons in five years and increase mining tax receipts by around a fifth.