Acting President Guy Scott says government introduced new mineral royalty tax to ensure Zambians get a fair share of the inflow of copper revenue.
He says Zambians are entitled to an equitable share of the country’s mineral wealth.
Dr Scott also said government will not close its doors but will allow dialogue with the mines.
He said this when he appeared on Kabanga Banga a local radio station in Solwezi on Saturday.
Dr Scott who has since concluded his inspection of developmental projects in Northwestern Province was accompanied by PF secretary General Davies Chama and Local Government and Housing Minister Emmanuel Chenda.
And PF Secretary General Davies Chama who accompanied the acting President to the radio station said it was not the wish of government to see any worker lose employment.
He said the mining companies should dialogue with government and not threaten to pull out until all avenues of dialogue are exhausted.
Meanwhile, the church has issued its support to the Government over the tax. Below is the full church statement
9th January, 2015
The Minister of Mines
Ministry of Mines
Dear Hon. C. Yaluma,
RE: YOUR STANCE ON THE REVISED MINERAL ROYALTIES
Greetings and sincere regards to you from the Council of Churches in Zambia.
The Council of Churches in Zambia has been following issues that have been raised by various stakeholders since the government revised the mineral royalties as indicated in the 2015 national budget.
As you may be aware, the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) has been concerned about the inadequate benefits by citizens from the mineral wealth that the country has been endowed with and therefore the revision of the mineral royalties is good news for us.
While we note the criticisms and threats, especially by mining companies, we would like to bring to your attention that we recognise the stance that you have taken to protect the interests of the people of Zambia.
We therefore fully support the stance that you have taken and we encourage you to continue putting the interests of the people of Zambia first, especially with regards to benefits from the mining sector which should be the largest contributor to the national treasury at the moment.
Please be mindful that as you dialogue with the mining companies regarding the mineral royalties, you have our full support as long as you continue to prioritise the interests of the people of Zambia and ensuring that there is responsible investment in the mining industry.
Love, Joy and Peace
Council of Churches in Zambia
Rev. Suzanne Membe-Matale
Cc: CCZ President
Cc: Media Houses