Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Govt apopoints Maambo minerals body chief
By Kabanda Chulu
Tue 30 Apr. 2013, 14:00 CAT

THE government has appointed mining expert Pius Maambo as head of the Minerals Develop-ment Commission that will independently verify production figures submitted by the mines to come up with appropriate taxes.

And mines minister Yamfwa Mukanga says the government has not yet decided on proposals to increase shareholding in mining companies to 35 per cent from the current 20 per cent.

In an interview in Lusaka, Mukanga said the Minerals Development Commission would be looking at reconciliation of production figures.

"The committee comprises officials from Bank of Zambia, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Mines, Chamber of Mines, UNZA, CBU; these are key stakeholders in the development of the country and we want to see how best we can reconcile figures by knowing how much copper is coming from the mines on daily, weekly and monthly basis," he said.

"This way it will be easier for us to tell whether the levels of taxation are enough or not rather than just talking so we need to know actual production figures from the mines. At the moment, we rely on figures from the mines and ZRA has been looking at those but what we are trying to do is for the committee to come up with independent data for the sake of transparency and accountability."

On speculation that the government wants to increase shareholding in the mines, which is held by ZCCM Investment Holdings, from the current levels of 10-20 per cent to 35 per cent, Mukanga said the government wanted to do things backed by legislation.

"We would love to increase to those levels but government through cabinet has to decide for now that is just talk and whenever we want to change things we shall do it with legislation," said Mukanga.

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