We, delegates from the Church, Civil Society, Mining Host Communities and Government gathered from the 20 to 22 June, 2017 at Cresta Golf View Hotel in Lusaka for the 6th Zambia Alternative Mining Indaba (ZAMI), under the theme ‘Mineral Development for all, leaving no one behind’.
We appreciate the presence of senior Government officials, Members of Parliament, the Diplomatic Corps, the media and mining company representatives who joined us during the three days of deliberations. We also welcome the continuous Government interaction with different stakeholders on national issues, including the mining sector which remains the backbone of the Zambian economy. We, however, present this communique of recommendations on how we believe Zambia can better harness the full benefits of its vast mineral sector for inclusive growth and socio-economic development.
The main goal of the Indaba was to create a platform for Communities, the Church, Government, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Mining Companies to effectively deliberate on real life experiences of the costs and benefits of extractive industries and how best we all can contribute to the sustainable development of the country. The ZAMI also provided a forum to discuss solutions to the challenges faced by the communities affected by mining.
Having had fruitful and vibrant deliberations from which we make the recommendations below.
Illegal Trade and Exploration
While noting that the Government is working to address illegal trade and exploitation of minerals, through projects such as the Mineral Value Chain Monitoring Project, we note with concern that there is still a lot of illegal trade of minerals resulting in significant losses of revenue to the country. We further note that this illegal trade is exacerbated by the bureaucratic processes that hinder the speedy granting of artisanal mining to indigenous communities. As such:
1. The Government should expedite the legalisation of “illegal” mining activities led by local communities as this has the potential to create employment for community members and generate additional income through taxation for the national treasury.
2. We appeal to Government to institutionalise CSOs and mining host communities’ role in the development of the Mineral Output Statistical System (MOSES) that is meant to monitor the movement of minerals within and out of Zambia.
3. We further recommend that Government redefine the provisions of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in the Mines and Minerals Development Act of 2015 so as to encompass the current “illegal” exploitation and trading of minerals.
Mineral Revenue Sharing Mechanism (MRSM)
The ZAMI recognises that unlike the Mines and Minerals Act of 2008, the Act of 2015 does not support the MRSM which provided that the communities retain a certain percentage of mineral revenues. As such:
1. We ask Government to amend the 2015 Mines and Minerals Development Act and supporting legislation to provide for a MRSM.
2. Government should in consultation with mine host communities and civil society develop the guidelines for the MRSM and further develop a strategy to implement the mechanism.
3. We appeal to the local Government to play its role of providing service delivery to local communities they serve, unlike relying on Corporate Social Responsibility from mining companies.
4. We demand the Freedom of Information Bill be passed into Law so as to enable citizens’ access information including how revenues are being utilized at the community level.
Land and Compensation - Challenges, Policy and Practice
We are dismayed at the status quo regarding the human rights violation by mining companies and the inaction of Government on the meagre compensation to the communities. We are also concerned with the slow pace of Government’s development of the Land Policy which has exacerbated land ownership disputes. As such:
1. Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) should be embraced in our policies and laws to enable communities affected by mining to meaningfully participate in land and compensation decision making processes.
2. We recommend that compensation takes into consideration non-market values, such as social, cultural, religious, spiritual and environmental values when communities are being relocated.
3. We recommend that Government raise its shares in mining operations and allocate a fraction of these shares to local communities. This should be channelled towards a community trust fund to provide sustainable and alternative sources livelihood for these communities.
4. We encourage enhanced coordination among the various line ministries to harmonise their efforts in land administration and compensations.
Uranium Extraction – Choices and Consequences
Although there is little information on uranium extraction, Zambia has deposits of uranium, and there are some mining companies extracting the mineral which could potentially pose issues of concern for public health and safety. As such:
1. We demand that Government halts all uranium mining and stockpiling until they have strengthened the legislative framework on the handling of uranium, which should be informed by a technical study involving communities, CSOs and other interested stakeholders to ascertain the current situation.
2. We demand that Government facilitate a community consultative meeting with mining companies extracting, CSO’s, Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) and Zambia Development Agency to raise awareness to local community members on uranium and how it is handled.
3. For the sake of transparency and accountability, we demand that communities should be part of the process of hiring experts who will monitor and measure levels of radiation from uranium from the mine. We further demand that all findings of the Radiation Authority and ZEMA must be made public.
African Mining Vision (AMV) – Domestication and Implementation
We are encouraged that the Government is in the process of setting up an AMV Secretariat to domesticate the AMV in the country. However, we are concerned that there has been minimal policy and legislation reforms in line with the African Mining Vision (AMV) since it was adopted in February 2009 by African countries, including Zambia.
This is evidenced by the fact that the 7th National Development Plan, the Mines and Minerals Development Act of 2015 and the Minerals Development Policy of 2013 do not reference the AMV. The AMV is the overarching continental framework to promote a “transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and socio-economic development”. As the strongest expression of Africa’s aspiration to shift from “norm-taker” to “norm-setter” for its mining sector, the AMV represents a paradigm shift away from commodity export dependency towards improving Africa’s industrial base through enhanced local beneficiation and value addition of minerals. We the participants:
1. Call for a speedy alignment of Zambia’s policies and legislation with the provisions of the AMV, which should be informed by a transparent timeline.
2. Commend Government for initiating a new process towards the development of a Zambia Country Mining Vision (CMV) in line with the AMV. However, urge government to open this process up to engage all key stakeholders in the mining sector, including communities affected by mining, CSOs and the private sector to ensure the development of a truly inclusive, credible and comprehensive Vision with clear timelines.
3. We also recommend that Government puts in place, as a matter of urgency, a clear set of policies and laws on “thin capitalisation” and on “ring fencing” to address the erosion of the revenue base of the country and curb the growing scale of Illicit Financial Flows from Zambia’s vast extractive industry to enable the country mobilise adequate domestic revenue to improve the quality of life for all citizens.
4. In addition, we urge Government to embark on a comprehensive review of the over 22 Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) and Double Tax Agreements (DTAs), which have been found to undermine Zambia’s ability to mobilise domestic revenue because of the inherent weaknesses of these agreements. Government is also asked to approach the signing of new BITS and DTAs cautiously and with a clearer strategy to maximise benefits to the nation.
Transparency and Accountability through the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI)
While appreciating that Zambia is EITI compliant and has produced eight EITI reconciliation reports which detail the payments by the mining companies and receipts by the Governments, we are displeased that the increasing levels of transparency in the extractives sector has not amounted to the desired level of accountability of the usage of these resources. As such:
1. Government should enact the EITI bill backed by a policy that clearly spells out how transparency from the reports will amount into the much needed accountability
2. We ask Government to strengthen the Transfer Pricing Unit of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to enable ZRA to effectively and efficiently curb the outflow of financial resources from the country perpetrated through aggressive tax planning practices by some mining companies in Zambia
3. In order to enhance local council’s collection of revenues from mining companies, we demand a review of the Property and Levy/Valuation Acts as they limit local councils’ capacity to mobilise revenue
We, the delegates, remain committed to continue monitoring the implementation of these recommendations. We further commit ourselves to continued dialogue and engagement with the Government and other key stakeholders to realise the potential of the extractive sector in the country.
A VERSION OF THIS COMMUNIQUE WAS RECEIVED AND SIGNED BY THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINERAL DEVELOPMENT, HONOURABLE CHRISTOPHER YALUMA ON 22 JUNE, 2017 AT THE NEW GOVERNMENT COMPLEX IN LUSAKA, ZAMBIA.