The European Union-funded Mineral Production Monitoring Support Project (MPMSP) says there is an improvement in mineral production reporting by the mines now compared to when the project started in 2015.
This is in response to reports suggesting that the government of Zambia, through the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development (MMMD), is not on top of mineral production monitoring and that there is poor or no correlation between mineral production and taxes and royalties paid by mining companies.
MPMSP Team Leader Ron Smit says the project is proud to have contributed to improved reporting by the large copper mines, as well as deeper investigation into the reports by Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development officers to clarify production figures reported by the mines.
“We are 100% more confident that the monthly reporting by the dozen or so large copper mines (who account for more than 90% of Zambia’s copper production) is accurate to within a few percent. This is due to the fact that we have designed and implemented the more detailed Form 34 for monthly reporting, which is the obligatory legal format since 1st January, 2016.”
Mr Smit says the data required for Form 34 has been used as the basis for the design of the Mineral Output Statistical Evaluation System (MOSES) production reporting system implemented by another project operating under ZRA, and this facilitating the comparison of mines’ production reports with their royalty reporting to ZRA.
“Form 34 requires reporting on all the intermediary products produced by the mining companies, and makes it possible to verify whether overall production reports are accurate and also whether mines have particular challenges to recover copper from certain types of ore.” He says.
He further says the officers in the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development now have an improved understanding of this reporting process and have been able to follow up with mining companies when reporting is seen to be inaccurate or incomplete.
The MPMSP has also undertaken Inspection visits to the mines to verify the qualities and quantities that they have reported in their monthly production reports.
In this light, the MPMSP is now shifting focus onto the reporting of other metals by the same mines, as well as designing a reporting format for gemstone production.”