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Friday, August 14, 2020

Ministry of Mines Permanent Secretary Paul Chanda talks his vision for the ministry, 2017 copper production target and mineral production monitoring

Headlines Ministry of Mines Permanent Secretary Paul Chanda talks his vision for the...


Ministry of Mines PS Paul Chanda

Thanks for your time today PS. Could you tell us about your vision for the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development?

PS PAUL CHANDA : I want to see the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development (‘MMMD’) become the final authority on mining in Zambia. I want the MMMD to be a very transparent entity which inspires confidence in our clients. And I want to see us compete with some of the world’s largest copper producers – like Chile!

In the next 10 years I would like to see an MMMD with the capacity to effectively monitor and regulate the mining sector. A Ministry that will have operationalised an online system for all its services (such as online applications for mining rights and non-mining rights) including online payments.

We are here at the offices of the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development in Lusaka. What is this Ministry responsible for?

PS PAUL CHANDA : The Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development is tasked with managing the mineral resources of the country. It promotes and regulates the mining sector, in line with government policy, which is the major driver of Zambia’s economy. For example, the MMMD issues licenses such as mining and export permits. It is also responsible for ensuring the mining sector is complying with all regulations set out in Zambian law, and informing the strategic agenda for mining’s role in Zambia.

For our readers out there who are not familiar with the Ministry, what is the role of a Permanent Secretary? 

PS PAUL CHANDA : Constant communication! My office is responsible for directing and coordinating the activities of the Ministry. It performs the policy-setting role, while the functional Heads of Department are responsible for executing the technical aspects of the Ministry’s functions but a PS is also a bridge between the MMMD and the outside world. I am in charge of projects, personnel and generally I help to polish up the image of the Ministry as I am the contact point with other stakeholders. So I work closely with the Ministry’s department heads (such as Mines Development, Mining Safety and Human Resources), share information and communicate.

Ministry of Mines officers engage with visitors at their booth at ZIMEC last year

How did you become Permanent Secretary?

PS PAUL CHANDA : I’ve worked in government for 22 years – in various departments including Health, Finance, and even the Cabinet Office. In 2012, two separate Ministries (Mines and Energy) were combined. I joined the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development at that time, as the head of Human Resources. I was reporting to the Ministry of Mines’ Permanent Secretary and when he was relieved, I was then appointed as Acting Permanent Secretary, a position I held for two years before I was appointed as a ‘permanent’ Permanent Secretary by President Lungu.

Zambia is well known for copper mining, but it also has large gemstone deposits – beautiful emeralds and amethysts for example. Could you tell us a bit more about what the MMMD is doing to encourage gemstone mining? And what would more gemstone production mean for Zambia?

PS PAUL CHANDA : Yes – Zambia has a wide variety of gemstones such as emeralds, amethyst, aquamarines, garnets, quartz and many more – all of which have not been explored and exploited to their full potential. So as part of our diversification strategy, here at the MMMD we have prioritised the exploration and exploitation of other base metals (other than the traditional copper) and also, as you say, gemstones.

I’m very glad to mention that under the European Union-funded Mineral Production Monitoring Support Project (MPMSP), there is a specific component which focuses on enhancing gemstone production and monitoring. As part of this component, a Senior Expert  was engaged, and produced a report with recommendations for improvements to gemstone production reporting, including reference to gemstone grading schemes and an improved reporting template.

With the elections now behind us here in Zambia, 2017 is going to be about getting down to work. What are your priorities for this year?

PS PAUL CHANDA : My priorities for this year are to grow the mining industry, and to increase copper production for 2017 to 850,000 metric tons.

This will be achieved by bringing on-stream new projects such as the South East Ore Body development at NFCA Mining Plc.; Kitumba Project in Mumbwa which is being developed by Intrepid Resources; and Mwambashi Project being developed by Sino Metals Leach Zambia Limited. Other projects to be commissioned include Dunrobin in Mumbwa, by Luiri.

Personally, I also want to see improved monitoring of the mining sector, better compliance, a stable mining policy and fiscal regime, and improved budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Mines. And this coming year we also hope to see the gemstone sector growing. We want to attract new investment into gemstone mining.

Senior Technician Chemistry Mr Gift Mwaula explains the use of the UV XRF Portable Analyser at the official unveiling of equipment at GSD on 5th October

Late last year, the European Union-funded Mineral Production Monitoring Support Project (also known as the MPMSP) hosted an unveiling event at the Geological Survey Department for new laboratory equipment which was donated as part of the Project.  Could you tell us more about that event and why it was important?

PS PAUL CHANDA : The unveiling of the new laboratory equipment is one of my proudest moments. I know all too well that in the past it has been difficult to test mineral samples accurately, as most of our equipment was obsolete, and people [in the laboratory] were not fully utilised as there was little to work with.

The unveiling of the laboratory equipment gave the Geological Survey Department a good image, and indeed the Ministry as a whole. It also gives confidence to clients who know that they will get accurate measurements of their samples. And it boosts the morale of our staff too.

The equipment kindly donated by the European Union will also help in the monitoring of exports. The President, H.E. Edgar Lungu, has said that government is committed to engaging with the private sector to identify solutions which can help the country offset some of the problems affecting the mining sector.

How will this new equipment help the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development?

PS PAUL CHANDA : The new laboratory equipment will ensure that we are able to speedily and accurately analyse mineral bearing materials intended for export, so that the correct metal content is established. This in turn ensures that the correct revenues can be collected by government through the payment of mineral royalties. It will also help identify the different minerals in a sample, and ensure that the samples that were tested are the same ones which are ultimately exported.



Permanent Secretary Paul Chanda cuts the ribbon with head of cooperation at the EU Zambia Delegation Mr Gianluca Azzoni at the unveiling on the 5th of October


BY Hope M Mkunte


  1. Look at this lost chap. What vision can you give under a president who stated he had no vision. You might be an intelligent hard working man but if you working under a chikopo like Edgar lungu then you are as good as a dead man working. Useless government. Only people gaining are foreign mining companies

    • Visions in Zambia have become a big thing! from the time UPND accused Edgar Lungu of having no vision, no suddenly all politicians, civil servants, “prophets”, “apostles”, “seers” and the like have joined the bandwagon of dreamers calling themselves “visionaries”.

  2. Doesnt his party have a vision..its not his company. There he is talking about equipment donated to the govt by the EU are you telling us we can not afford that ourselves from the money we get from tax.

  3. Good Mr. Chanda, I’ve got a good project to locally refine some mineral-bearing material that is being exported at the moment. I will engage you officially to facilitate. There are a couple of barriers that you as a ministry can help surmount.

    Your vision is great, I’m excited…

  4. @vizungu to process any mineral you need ELECTRICITY. More than u need for a blog
    My friend if it is not being processed here ther is a very good reason.. ECONOMICS

    Your vision is great I’m excited…..hope it comes to fruition. That is the only we as a Nation can progress. At least you are thinking not politicking. Am being serious

    • Hi @Masalamuso, I know this is the wrong forum but I should tell you that I have all my work cut out.

      I have the process flow and I have done my projections; cash flows, projected P & L (Income statements), including dummy balance sheets. I can assure you my brother that it is very viable. Of all my costs of production, even though electricity is one of the major ones, it’s not the greatest.

      I am very privy to the reasons why the ‘stuff’ is not being processed here, and viability is not one of them. The reasons are primarily very very selfish ones, hence my excitement to engage PS. (The ‘stuff’ has been profitably processed here before).

      “…More than u need for a blog…”. I would actually like to run a ‘Blog’ on serious issues like science and technology, so thanks…

    • …so thanks for the invaluable information that the electricity cost is ‘less’. As for my commenting on here, I do not spend anything on electricity because I am riding on the back of a corporate entity (tongue in cheek)…

      Thank you again.

  5. He would not have come anywhere near with such levels of ignorance on mining as an industry in the days of the proper ZCCM. No wonder the current mining firms are running circles around out GRZ. Do you guys know that not even Mwanawasa was allowed to enter Lumwana for a visit as president of Zambia by these infestors? They are out to loot anything that glitters!!

  6. @VIZUNGU I think i know what it is its 3 times more valuable than copper and you dont need high temperatures…
    Catch 22 tell the PS u lose out dont tell him nothing happens …..know how you feel.

    • @Masalamuso, we are on the same page!!! But let us keep it as our secret man. The Catch 22 situation is real, you have hammered the nail on the head, that is why it us taken me long for the project to take off. If I came under the guise of ‘foreign investor’ we could be talking of a different story today…

      I will keep pushing it till the last drop of my ‘precious’ blood…

  7. Have tried to assess the reserves but very little data. Return on investment is key for investor am currently in australia. Will ask around if it CAN be possible will blog 11th maybe will help

  8. Action speak louder then words Mr minister.people who are enjoying are only investors .chambishi copper smelter is one of the largest copper producers but y u don’t inspect their output.poor conditions of service,can u pliz visit them we have heard they always corrupt u so that they don’t increase salaries.this is our wealth pliz make am effort sir

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