Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development says Southern Province has potential to significantly contribute to the country’s mining sector if the mineral wealth the region is endowed with is properly harnessed.
Provincial Mines Officer, Dickson Banda, said the province is endowed with vast mineral resources that remain untapped owing to the fact that the region is mainly associated with agriculture, which he said has negatively impacted on the development of the province’s full economic potential.
Mr. Banda asserted that the development of a new mining policy is critical in unlocking the mining potential of the province and repositioning the region as a significant contributor to the country’s economic growth and development through mining.
He was speaking in Choma during a stakeholders’ consultative meeting on the formulation of a revised minerals development policy.
And Southern Province Deputy Permanent Secretary, Yolanta Mutyambe, expressed happiness that the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development is looking into developing a new policy.
Ms. Mutyambe said the policy will address challenges that previously prevented local communities from directly benefiting from the mining sector.
She therefore hoped that the new policy is critical in ensuring that local communities directly benefit from mineral royalties so that economic development trickles down to the grass root level.
She also explained that most mining firms in the province have poor policies regarding social corporate responsibility.