Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mining has regained position as mainstay of economy, says Mwansa

Mining has regained position as mainstay of economy, says Mwansa
By Kabanda Chulu
Friday May 23, 2008 [04:00]

MINES minister Dr Kalombo Mwansa yesterday said the mining sector has regained its position as the mainstay of Zambia’s economy. And Dr Mwansa has said employment in the mining sector increased to 58,108 in 2007 from 35,355 in 2000 while the sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased to 8.7 per cent in 2007 from 6.4 per cent in 2000.

Commenting on the 2008 Copperbelt, Mining, Agriculture and Commercial Show that takes place in Kitwe next week, Dr Mwansa said the mining sector’s growth was evident from other developments that had taken place over the years.

“Apart from increased GDP, employment creation and business opportunities for local suppliers of goods and services, the mining sector is growing with new developments taking place and these include establishment of new mines, construction of processing plants and increased exploration activities by private investors,” Dr Mwansa said. “And new mines have been established in non traditional mining areas and for traditional minerals and these include Lumwana in North Western and Munali Nickel in Southern Province and all these are examples of extension of mining activities to non-traditional mining areas.”

Dr Mwansa said the revised mines and minerals Act would enhance efficiency in the delivery of services relating to mining rights.

“Through the introduction of the computerised mining cadastre and geographical information system, fairness in the granting of mining rights will be adhered to through applying first-come-first-served principle and it will also eliminate possible overlaps of mining rights,” he said.

Dr Mwansa said the new system would also enhance availability of full history of licence life-circle for auditing and tracking of actions.

The Copperbelt Mining Agriculture and Commercial Show takes place from May 28 to June 1, 2008 under the theme: ‘mining delivers, agriculture develops and environment matters.’

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