By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
THE Zambia Chamber of Mines (ZCM) says it is concerned by the number of unsupported accusations that have been levelled at the mining industry in recent months.
ZCM president Nathan Chishimba said the allegations which the mines had received were general as to tarnish the reputation of the entire industry.
He was responding to allegations by the Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) president Crispin Mphuka, that most mines were engaged in transfer mispricing and the under declaration of minerals.
“If Dr. Mphuka has evidence to support these allegations, then it is important that they should be made known – not just to punish any alleged wrongdoers, but also to protect the good name of all mining companies that operate within the law.”
“As it stands, these allegations are so general as to tarnish the reputation of the entire industry, and each and every company mining in Zambia, and that is why the EAZ has a public duty to reveal the specifics,” Mr. Chishimba said.
In a statement, Mr. Chishimba challenged EAZ to provide evidence of such activities.
Mr. Chishimba said the Financial Intelligence Centre’s most recent report on all suspicious financial transactions for the year 2016 did not identify any mining company as a potential culprit
He said it is unfortunate that the likes of Dr Mphuka do not acknowledge the significant improvements made by Zambia’s regulatory bodies. “We are deeply concerned by the number of unsupported accusations that have been levelled generally at the mining industry in recent months. For the makers of these statements to retain their professional credibility, they must do more than make bold assertions.
“Furthermore, the excellent work done by the Minerals Production Monitoring Support Programme within the Ministry of Mines, means that any discrepancies between the actual production and recorded production of minerals is now only down to a few percentage points,” he said.