The budget emphasises on the need to increase output through the increase in production capacity and entry of new mining companies in the sector. Mining has been the main driver of the Zambian economy contributing about 12% towards the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and generating most of the foreign earnings, foreign direct investments as well as considerable amount of the Government revenue through mining royalties and VAT. Notably, the mining sector remains critical to the Zambian economy as it is the main contributor to foreign exchange earnings and is poised to grow even further due to industry demand for electric cars. Increasing copper outputs from the current 800,000 to 3million metric tonnes in a decade is paramount and entails producing more by existing mining companies and establishment of new mining corporations. To attract more investments Government will promote diversification and value addition not limited to copper but gemstones, manganese and high value minerals like gold.
Government will promote the growth of small- scale mining to address illegal mining, by formalizing operations of artisanal miners through formation of cooperatives especially for the youth and women. The cooperatives will be equipped with skills and knowledge to enhance their productivity, as well as training in safe mining practices.
These interventions will not only address illegal mining practices but also create employment. In addition, Government will undertake comprehensive audits of the mining licences issued that will help develop and implement reforms to enable Zambians participate in their own right or in partnership with foreign investors.
- To enhance the mining contribution, economic growth and job creation, PMRC notes that there is need for mineral diversification to develop, capture and formalise activities in the manganese, gold, silver and gemstones (amethyst, aquamarine, emerald and tourmaline) industry in order to broaden the tax base and help contribute effectively to the growth of the economy.