Mining companies that seek to export unprocessed minerals are “short-sighted” – AUSTRALIA’s Ambassador


AUSTRALIA’s Ambassador to Zambia Mathew Neuhaus has described mining companies that seek to export unprocessed minerals as “short-sighted” and called for value addition.
Mr Neuhaus has also said that Zambia’s economic outlook is “fantastic” and the country is likely to be “the star of Africa”.
Speaking when he visited Northern Technical College (NORTEC) in Ndola yesterday, Mr Neuhaus, however, commended some mining companies like First Quantum Minerals (FQM), which are adding value to copper.
“We want Zambia to be running the industries.  It should be Zambian entrepreneurs in the future who will be putting together the capital.
“Companies like FQM are able to do well because they are always looking at the technical things. I was impressed when I went to Kansanshi Mine to see the value addition that they have done to the cathodes,” Mr Neuhaus said.
“I must say that it is short-sightedness for those who object to exporting some of the existing copper until the smelter is there.  You need cash flows to be able to develop further. So, if your aim is value addition, you have to build from where you are and then encourage the technology that is there.”
Mr Neuhaus also advised against undermining the mining industry because doing so could be detrimental to the economic development of the country.
Mr Neuhaus said Zambia’s economic outlook is “fantastic” and that Australia will continue supporting Zambia’s development agenda.
Mr Neuhaus said Zambia is likely to become the “star of Africa” if it continues on the same economic path.
He said Zambia’s economic growth is evidenced by the growth of its gross domestic product (GDP), which is twice that of Zimbabwe.
And NORTEC principal Victor Mulenga said the college has been facing a number of challenges like lack of proper training facilities.
He said the equipment that NORTEC has cannot be compared with the new technologies the mining industry has acquired.
“Inadequate training equipment in workshops continues to be a challenge. Most machinery is obsolete and needs to be repaired,” Mr Mulenga said.
He also said the low tuition fees students pay adversely increases the institution’s financial problems.
Mr Mulenga thanked FQM for working with NORTEC in running a leadership programme in heavy equipment repair.