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MUZ Calls on Government to Award Gold Mining Licenses to Locals - Mr Chewe

Mining News - Published on Fri, 16 Aug 2019

Image Source: News Diggers
News Diggers reported that Mineworkers Unions of Zambia president Mr Joseph Chewe has urged government to prioritize the awarding of mining licenses on the gold deposits found in North-Western province to Zambians. In an interview, Mr Chewe said the country had long suffered with foreign investors who continued to externalize huge revenues from their mining operations to other countries. Mr Chewe said that “This country has learnt lessons. Look at the capital flight that is leaving the country all the proceeds go to (other) countries. I can tell you that, for example, Vedanta (Resources) is a family, even FQM (First Quantum Minerals) the biggest mines in North-Western (Province); they are a family. So, I think the challenge to us Zambians to rise to the occasion and start owning some of these mines either in partnerships or bringing in other partners to develop the gold deposits that have been found in North-Western.”

Mr Chewe said that “Otherwise, we have the potential, though we may not reach there now, but I think the President (Edgar Lungu) must drive that one day, a Zambian should own a mine, which should be run as profitably and efficiently. So, I think the gold deposits in North-Western should be an eye-opener and I think the President should encourage Zambian ownership because there’s no money that is being left in the country. So, it will mean just a name having gold here in Zambia; beneficiaries are outsiders! Look at Switzerland; Switzerland is a country where billionaires are sitting and syphoning money there.”

He said Zambians had a successful trackrecord of managing mining companies, citing the old ZCCM as a success story.

He added that “Yes, we may not have resources as a country, but I think we need to start somewhere. I can tell you that, currently, there are Zambians running KCM; you have seen how production is now going up. Even Mopani, the people that are actually doing the mines are Zambians, so, we have the capacity. What we just need is capital and also sustainability. We have run the mines before; ZCCM was one of the best companies in the world and foreigners destroyed it! So, we still have that capacity. We have the capacity, we have the brains.”

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Posted By : Sanju Moirangthem on Fri, 16 Aug 2019
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