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Zambia’s president provides assurances to mining investors

Zambia’s president, Edgar Lungu, promised mining investors on Thursday that his country would create a more streamlined tax administration system to make it easier for them to do business.

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

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 fulfil 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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