Government has $120 million in form of Value Added Tax -VAT- refunds to various mining firms in the country as at September 30th 2015.
Commerce Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe said that Government was trying hard under very difficult circumstances to sustain mining operations in the country.
Ms Mwanakatwe has further dispelled assertions from the Zambia Chamber of Mines that inconsistent Government policies are to blame for the challenges in the mining sector.
Ms Mwanakatwe said this in kitwe today during a KPMG breakfast meeting with members of the business community called to discuss the 2016 national budget.
Ms Mwanakatwe said as much as government is encouraging diversification, government cannot ignore the contribution of the sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP that now stands at 70% per annum.
And Zambia Chamber of Mines said that the process of open dialogue between government and the mining sector was vital.
Chamber president Nathan Chishimba further urged government to come up with realistic policies in curbing challenges in the mining sector.