Zambia’s reserves


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By Geoffrey Kapembwa

March 26 (Bloomberg) — Zambia‘s parliament approved an amendment to the Mines and Minerals Act that will increase taxes and abolish existing agreements between the government and mining companies, the Zambian Chamber of Mines said.

The bill, which will be signed into law by President Mwanawasa on April 1, will lift royalties on sales fivefold to 3 percent and increase corporate income tax to 30 percent from 25 percent. That will raise the effective tax rate on miners to 47 percent from 31 percent.

The government’s “unilateral decision to dishonor existing development agreements” is disappointing, Fred Bantubonse, general manager of the chamber, said in a telephone interview from the capital, Lusaka, late yesterday. “This is arm twisting.”

Zambia, Africa’s largest copper producer, expects to earn $450 million in additional revenue this year from higher mining taxes as it seeks to benefit from the metal’s seven-year rally, Kolombo Mwansa, the southern African country’s mines and mineral development minister said on March 4.

The law will result in miners reconsidering any expansion projects because of poor returns, Bantubonse said.

“Any bad law always affects future investment,” he said.

Copper accounts for about 70 percent of Zambia’s export income and production has been rising since the nation sold off state-owned mines 1999, almost three decades after they were nationalized. The proposed increase in taxes comes amid record profits earned by companies including Vedanta Resources Plc., India’s largest copper producer, and First Quantum Minerals Ltd., a Vancouver-based miner of copper in Africa.

— Editor: Athol Bolleurs, Dylan Griffiths.

To contact the reporter on this story: Geoffrey Kapembwa in Lusaka via the Johannesburg bureau at +27- abolleurs@bloomberg.net.

Last Updated: March 26, 2008 06:44 EDT

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Ndola

PARLIAMENT on Wednesday heard that the proposed new Mines and Minerals Development Act will promote transparency in the management of mining rights in the country.

Mines and Minerals Development Minister Kalombo Mwansa told the House that the Bill had also provided for the establishment of the mining rights registry which would contain third party interests to facilitate obtaining consent for an investor to enter such areas for mineral exploration.

Dr Mwansa said when the Bill came up for second reading that the proposed law had several provisions to benefit Zambian citizens and citizen owned companies in line with the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act 2006.

He said Zambians would remain free to enter into mine development partnerships with foreign investors but said only up to 49 per cent equity participation by non-Zambians would be allowed and that it would also reserve the mining rights for industrial minerals for Zambians.

He said Zambian citizens seeking consent to undertake prospecting and mining activities within an area already under a large scale mining right would now have the opportunity to seek intervention of the minister.

He said the provisions were designed to increase Zambian participation in the ownership of mines in the country and increase benefits to the Zambian society generally.

He said once the Bill was enacted, it would provide the legal basis for the statutory instrument and also development of a mineral royalty sharing mechanism.

He said the provision was designed to meet the expectation of local communities to benefit from the mineral royalty accruing to Government from their areas.

Other new elements in the Bill include the removal of provision for the minister to enter into development agreements and other elements included the requirement for a mine developer to come up with programmes for local business development, employment and training of Zambians.

The Bill also stated that the existing development agreements would cease to be binding on the republic upon coming into effect of the new Mines and Minerals Development Act.

Dr Mwansa further disclosed that the relinquishment, the renewal of a prospecting licence would now not be negotiable, as this would encourage prospecting companies to speed up identification of a highly promising area, which could be retained for mine development.

And chairperson of the committee on economic Affairs and Labour Mines Given Lubinda said the submission by the mining companies against the tax regime were invalid as they did not take into account the legitimate demand for the citizens to benefit from the resources that God endowed upon them.

Mr Lubinda who is Kabwata PF Member of Parliament (MP) said to avoid the country being brought under similar circumstances in the future, the committee implored the House to fully support the withdrawal of the discretionary power of any minister to enter into such development agreements.

The committee further supported the proposal to reserve certain mining activities for Zambians and also empowering the local companies.

Contributing to the debate Namwala MP, Robbie Chizyuka (UPND) said Zambia was a rich country with minerals given by God but called for fair share of the resources for the benefit of the people.

Luena MP Charles Milupi (independent) said that 750,000 tonnes of copper representing 99.9 per cent go out of the country as raw materials thereby creating jobs for other countries at the expense of the Zambian people.

Newly elected Kanyama MP Jerry Chanda (PF) said he had been tasked with responsibility of contributing to the welfare of the community who were currently facing various challenges such as floods, road infrastructure and several other pressing matters.

Colonel Chanda told the House that the planned increment of user fees by the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RSTA) should not be accepted because of the failure to manage the funds.

And Speaker of National Assembly Amusaa Mwanamwambwa advised Colonel Chanda to avoid debating controversial matters and the use of un-parliamentary language to avoid being interrupted.

This was after Col Chanda said that for too long the people of Kanyama and the nation as a whole had tightened their belts but had not been assisted.

He had wondered what wrong the people had done not to be assisted by what he termed “uncaring New deal Government” which received interjections especially from the Government side.

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ABOUT 500 workers at Chambishi Copper Smelter (CCS) have been issued with summary dismissal letters following their two-day riotous behaviour in protest against alleged poor conditions of service. And Police have apprehended seven CCS workers in relation to the riot that took place on Tuesday at the copper smelter company.Both CCS company secretary, Sun Chuanqi, and Copperbelt permanent secretary, Jennifer Musonda, confirmed the figure of the dismissed workers in separate interviews yesterday. Mr Chuanqi revealed that company property worth about US$200,000 was allegedly destroyed by the irate workers during the riot.He said management was saddened that the workers rioted before the conclusion of negotiations with union representatives.

Mr Chuanqi said the workers had been given a grace period of three days within which to exculpate themselves and show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against them.

He complained that work had been adversely affected by the workers’ riotous behaviour.

Mr Chuanqi warned that all workers identified as ring leaders would be dismissed from employment to discourage others from behaving in a similar manner.

By press time yesterday more than 19 alleged ring leaders had been identified while more than 66 workers collected their summary dismissal letters.

Mr Chuanqi appealed to workers to exculpate themselves within the stipulated time so that the innocent ones could be reinstated.

“We’re appealing to the workers to respond quickly to the summary dismissal letters so that those that did not take part in the riotous behaviour could be reinstated because work has been grossly affected and we need local manpower,” he said.

Mr Chuanqi said CCS belonged to Zambians and wondered why the workers destroyed what belonged to them simply because of a dispute that could have been resolved amicably.

“What we are building here also belongs to Zambians, so people must desist from destroying this investment. For those who will not come to collect their letters, we will follow them until they get them so that they can exculpate themselves,” he said.

However, Mr Chuanqi paid tribute to government for its continued support to Chinese investment in Zambia.

He also said the Chinese worker only identified as a Mr Li who was injured during the riot on Tuesday was discharged from the hospital.

And Mrs Musonda also confirmed that workers were served with summary dismissal letters when they reported for work yesterday.

A check by the Zambia Daily Mail crew yesterday at the CCS premises found several riot police officers manning the company.

Some Zambian workers were found waiting to collect their summary dismissal letters while others were reluctant to collect them, claiming that they did not take part in the riot.

Those spoken to said they were ignorant about the whole thing and that they were just forced by some of their colleagues to riot.

Copperbelt Police commanding officer, Antonneil Mutentwa, revealed that six officials of the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) and their member were apprehended by police in connection with the riot.

Mr Mutentwa said the union officials and their member were apprehended around 17: 45 hours on Tuesday.
NUMAW national secretary Albert Mando condemned the action by the workers to riot and damage company property.

“We are not in support of what the workers did. We are also disappointed with what happened on Tuesday because the negotiations have not yet collapsed, so why strike or riot?” Mr Mando said.

Zambia Daily Mail

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Times of Zambia reports…

Chambishi fires 500

 ALL the 500 striking workers at Chambishi Copper Smelter (CCS) were yesterday fired while seven National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) branch officials were arrested and detained on Tuesday evening.

The workers were served with letters of summary dismissal by management in the morning.

The move by management was as a result of the riotous behaviour by the workers at the company premises on Tuesday morning.

Police said those arrested were detained at Kitwe Central Police Station to help with investigations.

The workers at the Chinese-owned company had been on strike since Monday, demanding improved conditions of service.

The situation worsened on Tuesday when the workers decided to become violent and damaged property worth millions of Kwacha.

Both CCS company secretary, Sun Chuanqi and NUMAW national secretary, Albert Mando, confirmed that all the 500 workers who took part in the work stoppage had been served with letters of summary dismissal and had been given three days in which to exculpate themselves.

But Mr Mando said it was unfortunate that management had decided to serve the workers with letters of summary dismissal, saying there was no reason to continue with negotiations when its members had been served with letters of dismissal.

He, however, said his union would work hard to ensure that the seven branch union officials, who had been arrested, were released so that negotiations could continue.

“Yes, I have been told that the management at the company has also served the workers with letters of summary dismissal, but it is unfortunate management has resolved to take this stance.

“This decision by management will affect our negotiations because how do we negotiate when our members have been given letters of summary dismissal,” Mr Mando said.

And speaking in an interview at CCS, Mr Chuanqi said the management at the company had decided to serve its workers with letters of summary dismissal as a way of disciplining them for their riotous behaviour, but that they were free to exculpate themselves.

He said management was eager to listen to the concerns of the workers, but was saddened that the workers quickly resolved to become riotous and damaged property at the company.

He said the Chinese investment in Zambia was there to benefit both Zambians and Chinese and there was no reason for Zambian workers to become violent and damage property.

“As management, we do not take pleasure in dismissing our employees, but we want them to know that violence does not pay and that they have to do things according to the law. Problems arise where there are people, but things must be done correctly,” Mr Chuanqi said.

And Mr Mando confirmed the detention of the seven union branch officials and that he was trying to secure their release.

Mr Mando, who was still at the Kitwe Central Police Station by Press time, said those arrested were branch chairman, Oswell Chibale Malume, vice-branch chairman, Christopher Yumba, branch secretary, Steven Kabwe, branch vice-secretary, Christopher Nkandu, treasurer, Kafwaya Ndombwani, vice-treasurer, Chanda Mhango and a shop steward, Kachinga Silungwe.

Mr Mando said the seven were picked up on Tuesday evening and had not been formally charged although they were still being interrogated.

“Yes I can confirm that seven of NUMAW branch officials at Chambishi Copper Smelter have been arrested and detained at Kitwe central police station. They were picked up around 18:00 hours on Tuesday.

“I am actually at the police station, but I have not talked to them because they are still being interrogated and have not been formally charged. As a union, we are trying to secure their release,” Mr Mando said.

The Times team which went to CCS found the place deserted with only armed police dotted all over to keep vigil.

End of report.

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LUSAKA (AFP) — Zambia’s international reserves hit over a billion dollars this year, the highest figure in the country’s history, the central bank governor announced on Saturday.
Caleb Fundanga said Zambia had recorded 1.1 billion dollars in foreign reserves up from 706 million dollars that the country accumulated in 2006.

“Zambia has continued to record favourable external sector performance resulting in an accumulation of gross international reserves of 1.1 billion in December 2007,” Fundanga said in a statement.

“This is the highest the country has ever accumulated,” he added.

He said Zambia’s economy is expected to grow by 6.2 percent in 2008, while the country’s inflation will remain at the single-digit level.

“The overriding objective of monetary policy in 2008 is to consolidate the gains made in establishing price stability by achieving a third consecutive year of single-digit inflation,” Fundanga said.

Zambia’s inflation rate stands at 8.9 percent.

He said the country will face major challenges next year due to the projected rise in prices of petroleum products at the international market and the higher electricity tariffs in the southern African region.

Copyright © 2007 AFP

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NEW YORK, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ —

flag.gifAllied Energy Corporation (OTC: AGYP) is pleased to announce that Company representatives will be visiting Zambia next week to inspect the producing tin, tantalite and mica concessions (mining title and leases) in the area of Choma, Zambia collectively, the “Starfield Mine”).

As previously announced, the Company has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Starfield Minerals Ltd. (”Starfield”), for the purpose of acquiring Starfield itself or its sole asset, being the Starfield Mine.

Located in continental Southern Africa, the Republic of Zambia is one of the world’s principal tin producers and is extensively resource rich in other metals and minerals (e.g. copper, tungsten and nickel).

Allied Energy Corporation will focus on the profitable development of the Starfield Mine; however, the Company intends to aggressively pursue additional acquisitions complimentary to this initial transaction.

Production at the Starfield Mine is currently conducted by artisanal
workers using hand-labour and it is anticipated that extensive production efficiencies and volume improvement can quickly be achieved using mechanization.

When mining plant and equipment is installed, production is expected to increase, over time as implemented, from current nominal levels to potentially 400 tonnes per month of tin concentrate.

Due to current and forecast demand for tin, driven principally by demand in China and India, it is forecast that the price of tin will be sustained or increased from current levels. Currently, tin trades for $16,500 per tonne ($7.48 per pound) on the London Metal Exchange.

Tin (Sn) is classified in the group of base metals, which consist of
non- precious metals of great importance and utilization in the
infrastructure of society and industrialization.

Due to its low melting point, Tin easily binds to iron (steel), lead, copper, and zinc, which makes it an important coating material for prevention the rusting or oxidation.

The main industries that utilize tin are: food preservation canned foods), telecommunications, electric circuits, semiconductors, and architectural engineering.

For the year 2006, the global tin market was estimated at 360,000 tonnes, which translated into a total global USD value of approximately $5.5 Billion. This number is expected to grow significantly due to the rapid modernization and GDP growth of the large and emerging Asian economies (i.e. China, India, Indonesia).

As the Choma site is expected to be developed further, it is anticipated that most if not all of the current artisanal miners will be employed in this venture.

Additionally, adjacent sites have been identified for potential acquisition as part of expanded exploration and development activities.

Production will be delivered to market via South Africa or Tanzania.
Zambian, South African and American based entities have expressed a
willingness to purchase the product.

About Allied Energy Corporation:

Allied Energy Corporation is a publicly traded Company actively seeking a potential acquisition target within the natural resources sector. On October 31, 2007 the Company entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to acquire Starfield Minerals Ltd. or its assets. Starfield Minerals Ltd. owns a Zambia, Africa based tin and tantalite deposit (the “Starfield Mine”) in the vicinity of Choma, Republic of Zambia.

Contact: Antonio Treminio, Investor Relations, Allied Energy
Corporation, Tel: 212-315-9705, e-mail: Antonio@hotequities.com

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AEL – A South African Manufacturer Of Explosives Now Listed On The Lusaka Stock Exchange …

 

FILL IT UP An AEL Zambia re-pump emulsion truck filling up at the company’s plant outside Mufulira

Picture by: AEL

FILL IT UP An AEL Zambia re-pump emulsion truck filling up at the company’s plant outside Mufulira

By: Jonathan Faurie

Commercial explosives manufacturing and distribution company, African Explosives (AEL) has made a long-term investment in the Zambian Mining industry by listing on the Lusaka Stock Exchange says AEL international business director Stuart Wade.

The listing was confirmed in October 2006, Zambian investors and employees currently hold 20% of the company’s shares.

Wade reports that Zambia has traditionally been a large business hub for AEL. During the 1990s there was a slow down in mining activities but renewed interest in the region has made AEL’s Zambian expansion more possible and there are now significant investment plans.

“The company is in the process of upgrading, investing, reconfiguring, and aligning itself around the growth in the market place,” says Wade. This investment will expand the companies regional presence in Central Africa. The investment is configured to deliver products, blasting solutions and develop long term partnerships with customers.

Wade says that AEL Zambia is in a position in Africa to support both itself and the region and feels that the Zambian operation has the biggest growth potential. Copper, which is abundant in Zambia, is in huge demand at the moment contributing to the fact that the Zambian and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) operations are positioned to take part in the mining boom in the Central African region.

AEL has earmarked Zambia and the DRC as strategic growth areas for the company. Wade reports that the amount of money that is currently being invested in Zambia could be doubled when AEL DRC is fully established in the coming years. The company has achieved this growth through five board approved investment projects that are being executed in order to grow in Zambia.

Meanwhile, AEL has confirmed its involvement at Australian miner Equinox Minerals’ Lumwana mine in north western Zambia, reports Wade.

“This is by far one of the biggest greenfields projects that we have worked on to date,” says Wade.

The mine is 65 km west of the town of Solwezi. Equinox has acquired a large-scale mining license, which covers an area of around 1 355 km2, and includes two major copper deposits, Malundwe and Chimiwungo, as well as 27 exploration prospects.

The two copper deposits are 7 km apart, and will be mined sequentially by openpit mining methods. AEL reports that the mine design forecasts the extraction of 348-million tons of ore. Equinox has allocated land and amenities to mine supply partners to supply the mine, and plans to establish a town site to cater for up to 5 000 people.

AEL Zambia MD Wayne Du Chenne pointed out that the size of Lumwana, and the explosives needed to mine 20-million tons of ore a year, would require the erection of a bulk emulsion manufacturing plant on site to produce 3 000 t of bulk emulsion that will be required in the third year of the operation.

“Added to this, will be three to four mobile manufacturing units that will travel to the benches and deliver the emulsion down the hole. This infrastructure and capital equipment will require an investment of close to R30-million by AEL,” Du Chenne reveals.

Wade explains that the company has already been through the preparation phase of the project and is currently commencing with the building of magazines and civil work on the bulk emulsion plant. Once completed, AEL will have a bulk explosives manufacturing plant within the mine’s light industrial area Wade reports that once the site is fully functional it will conform to all the client’s requirements from the international fire protection standards to the environmental protection requirements.

Wade reports that the construction phase to bring the plant to full capacity will be completed by the first quarter of 2008.

Wade says the contract between AEL and Equinox will cover a period of ten years. While not disclosing the value of the Lumwana contract, he commits that the company’s Zambian operation faces even further expansion.

AEL is further positioning itself to start explosives supply to First Quantum Minerals, frontier mine in the DRC. The mine is still in the early stages of its development with pre-stripping and establishment of the mine is currently in progress.

He reports that the changing legislative environment, taxes, duties and logistics are the biggest challenges that the company faces in Africa.

Wade adds that the industry-wide lack of skilled labour is a concern for AEL. “AEL is currently manning itself up with competent people from each region who are able to work in the highly technical environment of explosives,” says Wade.

Wade feels that skills transfer is a key area that AEL has been focusing on as part of its long term strategy, “when we enter into new projects in Zambia we use the existing employees and structures to man up the projects. This provides excellent opportunities to grow local skills and competencies for future business growth,” he says

AEL also runs businesses in Ghana, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso.

“AEL has set up business hubs in Central, Eastern, and Western Africa to service the needs of clients outside of South Africa,” Wade concludes.

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China’s insatiable energy needs could send uranium prices soaring by 900% or more!

Lumwana’s uranium reserves and explorations could not have come at a better time than this for the Zambian Enterprise. Zambian investors and indigenous entrepreneurs also need to take a serious look at how they could profit from this uranium wave. 

No one is in an even better position than Equinox as they exploit more possibilities to add to their bottom line. As the world demand continues to trend in positive trajectories and giant mining companies look for junior buy-outs, we don’t actually see Equinox lasting without a hostile take over …

In February 2001, the commodity price of Uranium sat at its 30-year low of around $7 per pound. Now, just over 6 years later, uranium has risen an astounding 1,700% to an all-time high of $135 per pound.  

The primary force behind this incredible uptrend is simply that uranium stockpiles have declined for several years as escalating demand has far outpaced new supplies.

A key demand-driver is China with its immediate plans to bring 30 new fuel-hungry nuclear reactors online – and the country’s uranium appetite is just getting started. 

China’s rapidly expanding economy demands a vast increase in the capacity of its national power grid. The Chinese government has made an irreversible commitment to nuclear power upon which $TRILLIONS in industrial revenues depend.

With 2 new nuclear power plants slated to go online each year from 2007 through 2020, China knows that its future fortunes cannot merely rely on foreign uranium suppliers – China must own the foreign uranium supplies. 

classy-daddy-3.gifWe saw with our own eyes how the boom copper prices did little to create indigenous wealth and we are looking at how the next boom (the uranium boom) will for once benefit the land from which it emanates.

 The challenge for the Zambian government would be how much of that stake they are going to capitalize on for the benefit of the general populace; that’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion.

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

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