CHIBULUMA mine has contributed K2.4 billion at current exchange rates to the Zambian economy in form of taxes since its
privatisation 18 years ago.
This is according to a case study on the role of privatisation of Zambia’s mines.
Commenting on the development, mines head of finance Eustus Munsaka said such payments to Government overlooked the larger social and economic benefit the mine has had on the community and the local economy.
Mr Munsaka said Chibuluma would probably close sometime between 2020 and 2022 if it did not find a new copper deposit worth exploiting soon.
“Unless our on-going exploration finds a new copper deposit worth exploiting soon, Chibuluma will probably close sometime between 2020 and 2022. All mines have a natural lifespan, and we are about to reach the end of ours.
“Significant as these payments to Government are, they overlook the larger social and economic benefit the mine has had on the community and the local economy,” he said.
According to a recent case study, Chibuluma mine had excessively contributed to the Zambian economy through various taxes paid over the years such as corporate, mineral royalty and windfall taxes.
The study reports that upon privatisation, Chibuluma’ s new shareholders, Metorex of South Africa, poured money into developing the mine and renewing its technology base.
This capital expenditure programme had continued unabated ever since, and has been running at more than $15 million a year since 2008.
“Since 1998, Chibuluma has spent in excess of $3.7 million building schools, roads and houses; donating computers and laboratory equipment.
“In addition it has been awarding scholarships, teaching farmers how to grow crops more efficiently based on conservation farming skills and providing medical care. In 2013, the mine handed an entire 100-bed hospital to Government,’’ read the case study.