Zambia: Good Copper, Bad Copper


Zambia’s new president Michael Sata said the Chinese must respect Zambian labor laws, reduce expatriates and improve working conditions for the Zambian miners, Oriental Morning Post reported.

Little over two weeks after assuming office, Sata became critical of Chinese investment in the Zambia’s mining sector. China’s total investment in the country reached US$2 billion by the end of 2010.

Analysts expect Sata to continue with his populist campaign, which is aiming at tightening the state’s control on the copper mining industry that accounts for more than 75 percent of its foreign revenue earnings.

Taking office as president on Sept. 23, Seta stepped up efforts to deliver on his campaign promises such as increasing Zambia’s mining taxes and controlling its mineral exports.

Sata imposed a ban on the export of raw minerals including copper last week in an attempt to sort out irregularities and improve transparency in payment channels and delivery methods. The two-day ban was lifted on Oct. 6.

China’s business press carried the story above on Sunday.