AFRINET Commends Government’s Position on Mining Sector and Urges Action Against Illegal Mining

The Inter-Africa Governance Network (AFRINET) has expressed its support for the comprehensive position presented by the Minister of Mines and Mineral Development, Hon. Paul Kabuswe, during a press briefing held on Friday, 14th July 2023. The briefing addressed several crucial topics, including Konkola Copper Mine, Mopani Copper Mine, Kasenseli Gold Mine, and the issue of illegal mining in Zambia.

AFRINET is pleased with the progress made by the government in the selection of a suitable investor for Mopani Copper Mine and Kasenseli Gold Mine. Additionally, the out-of-court settlement with Vedanta Resources Limited over Konkola Copper Mine is nearing completion, with all processes expected to conclude by 31st July 2023. AFRINET commends both the government and Vedanta Resources Limited for their commitment to bringing Konkola Copper Mine to full production.

In a statement addressed to Vedanta Resources Limited, AFRINET expressed its firm belief that the company will fulfill its commitment to invest one billion US dollars ($1,000,000,000) over the course of one year. This investment is expected to create 10,000 direct jobs and additional indirect jobs through contractors and suppliers. Vedanta Resources Limited is also expected to allocate an annual expenditure of twenty million US dollars ($20,000,000) for corporate social responsibility initiatives. These investments are set to significantly impact the local economies of the Copperbelt province, Nampundwe in Central province, North-Western Province, and the national treasury.

AFRINET urges all stakeholders in the mining sector to collaborate with the government and investors to expedite the formal commencement of production. The organization emphasizes the importance of putting an end to illegal mining activities that have persisted in Zambia for many years. AFRINET calls on the government to take decisive action against those involved in these illegal activities, regardless of their status. By curbing this illicit mining, legitimate investments from both local and foreign entrepreneurs can flourish, contributing to the country’s economic growth and development.

The Inter-Africa Governance Network (AFRINET) extends its gratitude to the Mine Workers Unions for their ongoing mediation efforts between the government, mine workers, contractors, suppliers, and the affected communities. AFRINET encourages the unions and other stakeholders to continue their mediation role in ensuring industrial harmony. The organization also acknowledges the patience demonstrated by all those directly and indirectly affected by the mining sector’s challenges and urges them to remain calm, assuring them that the return to full operations of Konkola Copper Mine, Mopani Copper Mine, and Kasenseli Gold Mine is within reach.

With this position statement shared with various stakeholders in the mining sector, AFRINET reaffirms its commitment to fostering mutual engagement and policy dialogue across all sectors of public life. The organization emphasizes the importance of collective efforts to address the issues at hand and create a prosperous and sustainable mining industry in Zambia.

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