Zambia is going all out to up green energy, copper with private-sector at helm. The country is doing did all it can to sweep investors off their feet with pledges to be private-sector driven, surge into green energy, and do everything it can to regain top spot in global copper at a time when the metal is set to play such a key role in the fight against climate change.
Zambia Commerce Trade and Industry Minister Chipoka Mulenga, the MP for Chingola, a Copperbelt area, was very impressive in providing assurances of very near-term incentivisation and showing great conscientiousness in re-entering proceedings to ensure that government would deal immediately with the perceived drawbacks to investment raised on the day.
Mulenga informed mining investors that to promote investment in the mining sector, the government would, with effect from January 1, 2022, implement mining tax incentives that: reintroduce, in alignment with international best practice, the tax deductibility of Mineral Royalty Tax, or MRT, for corporate income tax assessment purposes; and increase from five years to ten years the period for which unutilised disallowed interest for the purpose of corporate income tax may be carried forward.
Propagating green energy
He spoke with great conviction at the spotlight on Zambia event hosted by Webber Wentzel and Musa Dudhia & Co. Webber Wentzel Zambia country partner Mmadika Moloi moderated the in-person and online discussion in which panellists that included Energy Ministry private power chief engineer Clement Chiwele, Musa Dudhia managing partner Arshad Dudhia, Webber Wentzel partner Robert Appelbaum, Fraser Alexander CEO Keith Scott, Webber Wentzel partner Jonathan Veeran, Enel Green Power business development lead Kachinga-Wankunda Phiri, and Zambia economic advisory transition team member Nitesh Patel took part.
Zambia is so focused on propagating green energy that it has created a special Green Ministry to advance sun and wind energy, in addition to the development of more green hydropower in areas not prone to drought.
“There is tremendous mining opportunity in waste and a surface waste deposit is a deposit, a resource of copper, and there is a tremendous opportunity in Zambia to remine waste for both economic benefit and significant environmental benefit as well. It’s low-hanging fruit. One can generate revenue out of some of that waste and increase resources and reserves in existing mining jurisdictions quickly relative to going and finding new projects,” said Scott.
He referred constantly to the incumbent government as the New Dawn Zambia, which recognised energy as a key sector for development and an enabler of productivity. A better policy framework would deliver clean energy from renewable green sources to allow the country to lower its dependency on drought-prone hydroelectric power systems. With global warming threatening, solar, wind and geothermal power possibilities would be heaped on to the hydroelectric baseload.