Mines Minister, Paul Kabuswe has refuted circulating social media reports suggesting that the government has sold its shares in Kansanshi Mine.
Speaking in Kitwe when he met mine union leaders, Mr Kabuswe clarified that government has not sold its shares but has instead changed its tax model system from the dividend to the royalty model.
He said this entails that government will be getting its proceeds from the company constantly whether the company makes profits or not.
“In the dividend model you have to wait for a company to make a profit and then declare a dividend that is when you get value but the royalty model is a constant agreement whether the company makes a profit or not you have to still get value,” he explained.
Mr Kabuswe said government was prompted to change the model because it was not getting enough value from the mining asset and it was getting a lot of complaints on the matter.
He explained that the process was started by the previous government and it had reached an advanced stage and the New Dawn government decided to adopt it to maximize national benefits from the mining sector.
Earlier, the Minster told the union leaders that his ministry was in talks with Vedanta Resources to unlock the mine.
“ Yes we are in talks with Vedanta Resources and also working on the issue of Mopani, I do not want to give you raw information but we will tell you when we conclude and l will be giving weekly updates on the progress and on these other mines you have raised concern on I am aware of the challenges and we are working on all of these, we are focused as government we know where we want to take the mining sector, and I will be receiving reports from a number of these other mine managements next week,” he said
Earlier Mine unions appealed to the Minister to address the challenges at Mopani, Konkola Copper Mines, Chambeshi Metals, Luanshya Copper Mines and Kasenseli Gold Mine to ensure that they are back on full operations and workers remain in stable employment.
MUZ president, Joseph Chewe who led the others said workers were worried about the security of their jobs while suppliers were also not being paid by these mines that are either closed or struggling in operations while government was losing out on revenue.
The unions that were represented include the Mine Union of Zambia (MUZ), National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) United Mine Workers Union (UMUZ) among others.