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Zambia assures mining investors of better policies

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Edgar Lungu, President of Zambia

Southern African country to resolve policy, regulatory issues in mining sector, says president

Zambia’s president on Thursday assured mining investors that his country will develop a more simplified tax administration system to facilitate them.

Edgar Lungu, in a speech read on his behalf by his deputy Inonge Wina, said Zambia’s mining tax regime has always been a thorny issue since the privatization of mines in the early 1990s.

Speaking in the capital Lusaka during the opening of a mining sector indaba (conference), the president said: “My government is determined to take significant steps to resolve policy and regulatory issues that investors have raised regarding investment in the mining sector.”

He said he expected the mining investors to take advantage of the improved copper price of close to $9,000 a ton to ramp up production and create more jobs.

Lungu said mining firms should also fulfill their corporate social responsibilities to benefit the local population.

Zambia is Africa’s second topmost copper producer and is hoping to increase its production from the current 800,000 tons per annum to a million tons.

The key to meet the goal, however, is a continued cordial working relationship with investors like Canada’s First Quantum Minerals, which runs the country’s biggest mining operation at Kalumbila, northwest of the country.

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