The Zambia Chamber of Mines has applauded the suggestion by Zambia’s Ambassador to Argentina, Alfreda Mwamba, that the mining association should consider a Memorandum of Understanding with its Argentine counterpart, the Camara Argentina de Empresarios Mineros (CAEM).
Opportunities abound for the two Chambers to learn from each other, and other jurisdictions include formulating best operating practices in all areas, as well as the best policy options to encourage a sustainable, socially and environmentally responsible mining industry.
Zambia Chamber of Mines, Chief Executive Officer, Sokwani Chilembo, has noted that a major area of potential cooperation would be on mining policy and regulation, and the effects the opportunities abound for the two Chambers to learn from each other.
In a statement released to ZANIS in Lusaka today, Mr Chilembo stated that it is inevitable for Zambia to pick lessons from what Argentina has adopted in the mining sector that has made the country thrive in the sector, in the recent years.
He added that Zambia has to study the Argentinian Mining Code which emphasises on long-term stability, that includes a 30-year stability clause for mining investments and a reasonable 3 percent royalty rate, which has done a great deal to open up Argentina as a mining destination.
The Zambia Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer, observed that since the removal of the former Argentine government’s investment disincentives in 2015, things such as foreign exchange controls and investment in mining exploration has increased to US$ 200 million a year.
Mr Chilembo noted that in Zambia, the exploration expenditure has collapsed to US$ 10 to 20 million from a high point, 10 years ago of around US$ 100 million a year.
He said as a result, Argentina is now well placed to service the coming 4th Industrial Revolution, whereas Zambia, despite its mineral endowment is not yet able to do so.
Mr Chilembo stated that there is still so much that the country can learn from Argentina’s recent progress and Zambia’s more cyclical policy path over the last decade.
He added that the two Chambers’ shared learning, will greatly assist policy formulation in both countries, as well and policy makers, leaders and professionals, to understand what best encourages mining investment, and how that investment can be translated into broader economic growth.