• Introduction of the tax collection unit for small scale and medium scale mines which is coming soon is a welcome move.
• ZRA Commissioner General should send out a team to assess how many of the small scale miners are operational.
• Most of them have not been producing due to lack of mining equipment.
Emerald and Semi-Precious Stones Mining Association of Zambia (ESMAZ) has called on Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to carry out a countrywide assessment to find out the number of small scale miners that are operational and productive.
Speaking to Money FM News, Association President Victor Kalesha noted that according to ZRA, only 171 small scale mines have been compliant in terms of paying taxes, out of 2, 400 that are in their records.
Mr. Kalesha however said there is need for the Authority to conduct a thorough research and know how many of these mines are productive.
He stated that 2, 400 small scale mines may just be the number that ZRA has in its database but most of them have not been producing due to lack of mining equipment, operating capital, and proper geological information.
“We would like to further advise the Zambia Revenue Authority that instead of just coming up with figures of what they have in their system like out of 2, 400 small scale mines that they have in their records, we would love them to do a thorough research because in this report, they are saying only 171 have been compliant in terms of paying taxes out of the small scale miners.”
“ZRA Commissioner General should send out a team and we are ready to work with them even at no cost to go round the country and do an assessment of how many of these small scale miners are operational, and productive because many of these are just the numbers that they have as 2, 400, we have a challenge where people have been mining and due to lack of mining equipment and operating capital, and proper geological information, they haven’t been producing,” Mr. Kalesha advised.
He cited Lufwanyama where miners have been paying area charges to the Ministry of Mines, yet they have not been producing.
Mr. Kalesha further welcomed ZRA’s plans to introduce the tax collection unit for small and medium scale mines in 2023 to address low tax compliance.
“The introduction of the tax collection unit for small scale and Medium Scale Mines which is coming soon by ZRA is a welcome move. We are Zambians and we would like to see this country progress on a positive side. So as it is, we would like this collection unit to succeed. We want to be compliant, we want to be part and parcel of building this country.”
And Mr. Kalesha called on Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Mines to work out mechanisms that will empower and awaken the sleeping giant in the small scale mining sector.
“Let them also come out and work out mechanisms with Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Mines that will empower and awaken the sleeping giant in the small scale mining sector because many Zambians are not operating but we have multinational companies that are operating in the areas where we are and we are unable to provide competition,” he said.
Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) targets to establish a tax collection Unit for Small and Medium Scale Mines next year to address low tax compliance because according to the Authority, only about 171 small, medium and artisanal mines declared mineral royalties last year despite the country having over 2400 mines registered for tax.