Total annual export earnings from copper amount to between US$6 billion and US$8 billion but Government only receives between US$300 million and US$600 million. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Richard Musukwa said the justification for increasing the mineral royalty on copper is because Government receives low revenue from the mining sector.
The increase will be marginal because mineral royalty is dependent on commodity prices. Mineral royalty has also been made non-deductible because it is not a tax but a payment in consideration of the minerals being mined. Musukwa said this in a policy statement to Parliament during the debate on budget estimates for revenue and expenditure for the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development.
Mr Musukwa said the export duty introduced on manganese ore and concentrate is aimed at promoting value addition which will benefit Zambians through job creation and revenue. And the minister said Government has completed the geological and geochemical mapping of Luapula and Northern provinces which is aimed at attracting investments in the mining sector.
He said the availability and access to quality geological information is vital for continued attraction of investors to the mining sector.
Meanwhile, Mr Musukwa said Government is reviewing the petroleum [exploration and production] Act of 2008 and its regulations and that this is aimed at enhancing exploration for oil and gas.
He said this will make the petroleum sub-sector conform to international practices and attract investments to the sector.
Mr Musukwa said focus will be on building capacity to regulate the petroleum sub-sector so as to enhance the generation and provision of geological information to potential investors.
He said the geological mapping programme will continue in other parts of the country that have not been mapped.
Mr Musukwa said focus will be on exploitation of non-traditional minerals that have potential to stimulate growth of other sectors, hence contribute to the diversification of the mining sector.