• 2022 National Budget must provide practical policies towards diversification in the extractive industry.
• Government should not only focus on increasing copper production.
• Government must also consider increasing the production of gold, emeralds and other precious stones
A Mine Expert says stakeholders in the mining sector expect the 2022 National Budget to provide the Nation with practical and implementable policies towards ensuring diversification in the extractive industry and not only focusing on increasing copper production.
James Musonda told Money FM News in an interview that it is disappointing to note that previous governments only focused on copper production as opposed to other available minerals such as emeralds.
“Emerald mining has for a long time been neglected by the previous Governments as they did not pay much attention to the sector which must not be the case for the new Government,” Mr. Musonda said.
Mr. Musonda added that Government must also consider increasing the production of gold among other precious stones in order to boost the mining sector.
He noted that in as much as the pronouncement to increase production in copper mining is okay as recently shared by the new minister of finance, it is still inadequate to address existing loopholes in the extractive industry.
“Zambia is so unique because it has 8 varieties of beautiful gemstones; among them are Emeralds and accounts for about 46% of the world’s production of Emeralds,” he stated.
Mr. Musonda explained that if diversification of mining sector is attained, it will boost the country’s economy with the much needed foreign exchange.
Recently, Finance Minister Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane said Government will work on increasing Copper Production in the country from 800, 000 metric tonnes to 3 million tonnes in a bid to stabilize the exchange rate for the local currency.