Increased investments in mining will speed up the growth of manufacturing industries in Zambia, the country’s High Commissioner to the UK, Mr. Muyeba Chikonde has said.
Speaking at the November 27th Mines and Money forum in London, a panel of experts in the exploration industry agreed that Zambia’s mining sector could benefit from sector reforms.
Mines and Money is the leading international event series for capital-raising and mining investment. For the past 15 years, Mines and Money have run successful events in London, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Toronto and New York.
Mining is a major contributor to Zambia’s economy with copper alone responsible for around 80% of the foreign earnings. However, the copper market has been over-saturated in recent years, threatening Zambia’s prospects.
From as early as 2015, industry stakeholders have advocated for foreign investment to help bolster the industry.
“Foreign direct investments will continue to play a major role in the mining industry,” said Jackson Sikamo, Country Manager at Chibuluma Mines, a Zambia-based exploration company.
An earlier analysis from the international research group, BMI concluded that that private and government consumption are likely to remain key growth drivers for the country’s precious metals sector. The report noted that well-planned reforms could help bolster the industry.
At the forum, it emerged that the Zambian government wants increased participation by the population in the mining industry. High Commissioner Chikonde says the mining industry has moved from private to public hands and back again over Zambia’s history.
Pius Kasolo of ZCCM Investment Holdings says oil and gas exploration is a prospective new area for Zambia. The majority state-owned investment company is diversifying into the energy and agricultural sectors while ZCCM retains minority stakes in Zambia’s mines and mining projects.