And Gen. Chinkuli has appealed to government to quickly realise the economic diversification program to reduce pressure on the mining industry.
Speaking on the sidelines of the seminar organized by the Chamber of Mines with the Chilean government, Gen. Chinkuli said Chile has managed to grow production in the mining industry due to stable and low tax regimes.
He said there is need for government to realise that mining has great opportunities on offer as opposed to taxes only.
Gen. Chinkuli said the Mining industry in Zambia has highly been taxed but can as well be used for job creation as well as enhancing economic development in different communities of operation.
“Currently the taxes are too high and this is affecting production in the mining industry, we need to get to a round table and see how best we can help one another of these issues, Zambia needs a stable tax regime to help improve production in the mining industry” he said.
“There is a lot we can learn from Chile, we have to continue with such engagements, I was once Minister of Mines and we had a lot of interactions to see how best we can help one another in this sector” he added
Gen. Chinkuli however said the mining industry I’m Zambia is under serious pressure due to its contribution to the country’s economic growth.
“You see Chile only has about 6% of its export earnings from mining that is copper but here in Zambia we are talking about over 70%, this has contributed to so much pressure on copper production”.
He said government needs to take advantage of the mining industry’s contribution to help grow other sectors through its diversification program.
Gen. Chinkuli said there is need to see the agriculture sector taking centre stage in sustaining economic growth and also help reduce pressure on the mining industry in the country.
“We cannot always depend on copper production for our export earnings, we need to look at other potential sector of the economy like our friends are doing in Chile,” he stated.