The Zambia Chamber of Mines (ZCM) has made an observation that the mining sector is currently going through an impasse. This, according to the body, is as a result of the reported pressure that has been mounted on it to service other sectors of the economy.
ZCM President Nathan Chishimba noted that the mines failed to contribute much to the country. This, he says, is because Zambia’s needs had grown faster than the mines were able to cope with.
According to Mr. Chishimba, the current stagnation in the industry can be attributed to the historical perception of its value to the country. As such, it has been left behind as the rest of the country’s needs have expanded with time. This, Mr. Chishimba insists, should not be the case, as the mining sector is meant to be a key driver of growth in the country’s economy.
Mr. Chishimba believes that mining should be looked at as a long term business which takes roughly 10 to 20 years in prospects and the development of a mining operation. On the contrary Zambia as a whole perceives the mining sector as a source of revenue. The general aftermath of this perception then, would be the pressure exerted on mining companies to get as much revenue as possible from said operations. This, Mr. Chishimba insists, goes well against the actual natural pattern of perceiving a mining company.
Mining needs an intensive, detailed investment plan. This, he says, can be helped by taking a longer view to perceive mining in its correct context. When pitted with the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which has managed to create an environment where exploration investment is very high, Zambia is found wanting. The saving grace, according to Mr. Chishimba, is exploration investment into the country.