THE Zambian Government is seriously working on measures to stop exporting minerals in their raw form and start manufacturing copper products locally, says Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma.
Mr Yaluma said Government was doing everything possible to ensure that there was serious value addition to Zambian minerals.
“How do we allow our copper to go out in a raw form? It does not make sense and what we are trying to do is to ensure that there must be serious full value addition to our minerals here.
“We want to have outlets where we shall be selling copper or mineral products like other countries do. We used to make a lot of copper products during the Kaunda time and today you do not see them. Other countries bring them here already finished and they are very expensive on the market,” he said.
He observed that Zambia’s minerals recorded a loss on value addition tax when they were exported in their raw forms.
“We can influence production costs which will lean across the taxes which will also look at the raw materials going into the mining production. We shall also look at the production methods by the mines themselves and how they run their businesses,” he said.
He explained that Government would continue providing good business policies to promote trade in the mining sector and increase production.
Meanwhile, Mr Yaluma said those complaining that the mineral royalty tax was still very high at six percent must approach Government.
Mr Yaluma said he was surprised to hear other mining operators still complaining about the royalty tax which had been reduced significantly.
“Some mining firms say they will not be able to support their operations so, they are fighting for it to be lowered further. If they feel it’s still high then let them come and talk to us,” he said.