Former Federation for Small Scale Miners Association of Zambia (FSSMAZ) President Mark Kalemba says is it not right for authorities to allow a foreign company to have 90 percent ownership in gold mining and processing.
How comment follows the recent move by authorities to allow a South African company (Import and Export Zambia ltd) in setting up a copper, cobalt, silver and gold processing plants at a total cost of US20 million leaving Zambia with 10 percent.
Mr. Kalemba said the resources intended to be invested in mining and processing can be mobilised locally thereby giving Zambians to own the investment.
He stated that allowing investments where the country only gets to benefit 10 percent is not good as the bigger chunks of money received from the investment leaves the country.
“Allowing more foreign companies to own 90 percent and leaving 10 percent to Zambian shareholding clearly reflects a complete refusal by successive governments to learn from the past. Therefore, this move should not be entertained,” he said.
He said gold is so lucrative such that if government is to order the equipment require d in its processing, Zambia stands to benefit more.
He said it is high time Zambians where given the opportunity to own and manage such investments and not leaving it in the hands of foreigners.
“And the advantage will be that whatever transactions that will be done, the proceeds will remain within the country,” he said.
On manpower, Mr. Kalemba said Zambia has enough manpower specialised in gold mining and processing which only needs to be harnessed.
He is hopeful that government has calculated its move well so that Zambians can benefit from the investment.