By GIDEON THOLE –
GOVERNMENT is yet to make a decision on calls by the Zambian mining industry for the removal of 10 per cent duty on copper concentrates to allow for the processing of the ore outside the country.
MINES, Energy and Water Development Minister Yamfwa Mukanga said the Government had asked the mining firms to submit their request on how best to have the copper concentrates processed outside the country in writing, while his ministry was also considering the best way to deal with the situation.
He, however, indicated that the Government was not keen to allow large amounts of copper ore to be processed outside this country.
“The Government is not very keen on letting the copper concentrates leave the country for processing. This will only be done after establishing the real situation on the ground as far as the copper smelters capacity is concerned,” he said.
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Unbelievable! First it was importing concentrates to be treated in Zambian smelters. Has the scenario changed to exporting Zambian concentrates to be treated in smelters outside Zambia? Are the systems to ensure accurate reporting already in place? A self-regulating system is not fool-proof as anyone that has accounted for concentrates might acknowledge.