President Edgar Lungu says the State must own a majority stake in the nation’s mines so as to benefit Zambians beyond mere collection of taxes.
During his address to miners last week on the Copperbelt, President Lungu said the private sector would also be allowed to operate in the sector but emphasized on the need for Zambians to enjoy the benefits of their mineral wealth.
President Lungu also said the proposal is not to nationalise the mines but the State acquiring majority stakes in the selected mines while allowing private investors to also participate in the sector.
Meanwhile, President Lungu revealed that Government would buy gold directly from miners to bolster its foreign reserves after gold prices surged.
‘’The state must harness the potential of gold and encourage investment,’’ President Lungu said.
President Lungu has since promised a stable fiscal regime for the extractive sector to promote more investment in exploration, seeking to reassure investors who have been critical of the state’s expanding role in mining.
He said the economic recovery program launched by his administration is aimed at helping the economy after the impact of the corona virus pandemic.
“Our plan is to see the country increase international reserves to at least three months of import cover by 2023. Through value addition to our God given resources, Zambia is going to sell products created thereafter to earn the much-needed foreign exchange,” he said.
And Mine Workers Union president Joseph Chewe thanked the Head of State for his gesture of paying a courtesy call on the mine sites. He said miners were happy that President Lungu has their best interests of the nation and miners at heart.