A senior ministry of mines official said that Zambia plans to make copper mining companies account for the gold they produce as it seeks to boost revenue from its mineral resources.
According to the Ministry of Mines Permanent Secretary Mr. Barnaby Mulenga, Zambia was missing out on a lot of revenue because only one large mine was declaring its gold output.
First Quantum Minerals’ Kansanshi Mine, was the only mine Africa’s second-largest copper producer, Zambia, that has been declaring its gold production, the mine produced 4,200 kg of gold last year, meanwhile, Zambia’s target for gold production next year was 40,000 kg which would come from primary and secondary sources, including artisanal and small-scale miners.
Mr. Mulenga said that some mining companies had not been declaring any of their gold production, therefore, the quantities mined were very insignificant and therefore sold as copper.
He said some mining companies have claimed that it is more of impurity than gold, Mr. Mulenga insists that gold is precious and can’t be an impurity. His theory was that in some cases, the gold is hidden in the copper blisters or copper cathodes. He, however, promises that a system will be put in place to account for the gold.
Meanwhile, the chief executive officer ofZambia’s mining investment company ZCCM-IH, Mr. Mabvuto Chipata said the company would invest in exploration, mining, processing, and trading in gold
Mr. Chipata said ZCCM-IH is starting to set up centers for buying gold in strategic areas with deposits as the first step in a bid to formalize artisanal and small scale miners and would provide technical expertise to artisanal miners.