Message Lun 8 Juin 2015 14:44

Motsepe optimistic about Zambian mining sector

AFRICAN Rainbow Minerals chairman Patrice Motsepe says he is very optimistic about Zambia’s mining sector following the revision of the mineral royalty tax to be effected in July. Motsepe, South Africa’s first black billionaire, who founded and chairs publicly-traded African Rainbow Minerals, has a 50/50 joint venture partnership with mining group Vale SA in the Lubambe Copper project in Chililabombwe district. Last March, Motsepe had warned that the mineral royalties previously hiked to 20 per cent for opencast mines and eight per cent for underground operations, up from the previous six per cent, would badly hit the mining asset. But speaking ahead of the implementation of the new mineral royalty tax on July 1, Motsepe said he remains very optimistic about the Zambian mining sector’s competitiveness, even in view of the raised low sulphur diesel prices, which were hiked last month to K10.88 from K9.89. “I have had engagement with various people in Zambia, and I have no doubt that there is a commitment to try and work out a dispensation that is good for the country, citizens and good for the mining industry,” he told the media during a press conference at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town on Thursday. “Sometimes, we need to walk the path and find each other but I am very optimistic about Zambia.” Motsepe also expressed optimism about the mining sector’s resilience to copper price fluctuations on the international market, citing Chile as an example. “Chile has done very well, there are times when the price of copper went up and the industry did well, and sometimes regulators only remember when the prices were good and profits were made. Usually, those good years are preceded by many, many years of difficulty,” he added. And Motsepe told journalists that private sector partnerships were essential for the growth of the mining sector and African economies in general. “I think there is a greater recognition that the single most important partner to realise all of the dreams for our people is partnerships with the private sector, with investors and we have stayed the course,” said Motsepe, who is estimated to be worth around US$1.76 billion, according to Forbes. Lubambe is the former Konkola North Copper project and it is owned 80 per cent by the Vale/ARM joint venture, and 20 per cent by ZCCM-IH. ARM is a publicly traded firm that mines and processes iron, manganese, chrome, platinum, copper, nickel, coal and gold. - See more at: ... jZ0ua.dpuf