Emerald Watch Production of Zambia (EWPZ) President Musa Kafimbwa has called for the reintroduction of windfall tax and repossessing of dormant mine licenses.
Mr. Kafimbwa said in an effort to maximise revenue collection in the mining industry, the government must consider introducing a number of policies which includes reintroducing the Windfall tax.
Mr Kafimbwa said the reintroduction of the Windfall tax will contribute to the improvement of revenue collection in the mining industry and in turn the revenue collected may help to support some of the ailing sectors of the Zambian economy
The windfall tax is a tax levied by governments against certain industries when economic conditions allow those industries to experience significantly above-average profits
In an interview in Kitwe, Mr Kafimbwa said, apart from reintroducing the Windfall tax, the government should also put in place deliberate policies that will maximise revenue collection in the Emerald Industry
Mr Kafimbwa said, one of the deliberate policies should include repossessing the more than 400 dormant emerald mines in Lufwanyama emerald restricted area and given to those with the capacity to develop them and contribute to revenue collection in the emerald industry
He said he was sure that if the more than 400 dormant licences were repossessed and given to active developers, they will contribute to the development of the sector and also the national economy through revenue collection, job creation and other areas
“We have more than 400 dormant emerald mines which if developed, can contribute to revenue collection in the emerald sector. So, as government thinks of putting in place policies to maximise revenue collection, it should also think of repossessing dormant emerald mines in the area and give them to investors who will develop them.Apart from maximising revenue collection, these more than 400 dormant mines once developed, they can also contribute to job creation and other areas,” he said
Mr Kafimbwa said, a well managed Emerald Industry will maximise profits and support the Zambian economy in various sectors and also help the country to reduce on borrowing
“There is a lot of happening in the Emerald sector and I think if it is properly managed, it will contribute to economic recovery and national development through maximising revenue collection from the sector.We also need to maximise revenue collection from the Copper Blisters. These Copper Blister contain Manganese, Gold and others, but when exporting, we export in the name of Copper Blisters ,” he said.
Lack of capital has prevented several emerald and semi-precious mining firms in Lufwanyama from utilizing their mining licences.
Most of these dormant firms are owned by Zambians.
Commenting on the dormancy of several mining firms, Mr. Kafimbwa said repossession of all dormant licences will unlock the emerald and semi-precious mining sector.
He said there is need to consider new new mining licences applicants.
Mr. Kafimbwa observed that at the moment only Grizzly Mining Limited and Kagem Mining Limited were active in this sector.
He said many people in Lufwanyama District especially youths need jobs.
“Government to repossess all dormant licence’s to unlock mining areas to new applicants.The burden of job creation to skilled and non skilled youths in Zambia is very high.We have thousands of our people hunting for jobs in the mines and for Lufwanyama District it’s only Grizzly and Kagem out of hundreds of dormant licence’s issued to various firms.The only way to go is to unlock the sector by repossession of such dormant mining licences.Our youths are on the dumpsite dependence because this mines are closed for years now.Zambia is number one on the planet as a great emerald exporter and producer.Producing the best rough emeralds with high crearity and value.Though the COVID hit Gemfields has struggled to raise the Zambian map from 2008 when Gemfields planted his routes and promised to be the best in the history of Zambian emerald business,” Mr. Kafimbwa said.