The Ministry of Mines says it needs K5 billion seed money to establish a national mining company that will help propel mining activities in the country.
Speaking yesterday when the ministry appeared before the parliamentary joint budget cluster comprising the Agriculture and Food Security and Natural Resources and Climate Change committees to explain the ministry’s plans and achievements, Department of Geological Survey acting director Kondwani Dombola said the company will be key to promoting mining in the country.
He said the ministry needs at least K5 billion to establish the company and that it will have to look for funds to have the company in place.
Said Dombola: “It is the desire of the ministry to have the company in place to help address challenges in the industry. A number of mines have failed to open for a number of reasons and the State-owned company will help to ensure that mines are developed.”
He said the national mining company will also help manage any shares in mining companies that government is supposed to have and do mineral explorations.
“It is a desire to have that kind of company because it will perform very important functions. With a government-owned company in place, some excuses that private-owned companies have been giving will be reduced because we will have our own participation in this field,” said Dombola, adding that by next year, some processes will have started.
On his part, Natural Resources and Climate Change Committee vice-chairperson George Million said the committee will engage the ministry to get more information on the company and how it will be sustained.
He said most national companies do not make profits and rely on government to sustain their operations.
“We have arranged another meeting with the ministry to understand how this company will operate,” he said.
Government wants to move away from tobacco farming as a major forex earner and mining is regarded as one of the potential industries that can replace tobacco