LUSAKA, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Zambia's newly-appointed mines
minister said on Tuesday that the government will ensure
stability and predictability in the mining sector, seeking to
allay fears of royalty hikes.
Paul Kabuswe also said the government must root out
corruption in mining, which is the engine of Zambia's economy.
"We may not do everything in the coming budget but I can
assure you that sanity will be brought back to the mining sector
before 2026," Kabuswe said.
Zambian bonds and the kwacha currency rallied after the
election of businessman President Hichilema, who named Kabuswe
mines minister last week.
"We have to make policies that will not disadvantage the
investors. We have to have stability in the economy so that the
investor is happy," Kabuswe told a press briefing.
Africa's second-largest copper producer, which defaulted on
its sovereign debt last year, has benefited from an increase in
copper prices to record highs.
Kabuswe said Hichilema would oversee Zambia's policy on
Mopani Copper Mines and Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), two critical
operations his new administration must tackle.
Zambia took on $1.5 billion in debt to buy Mopani from
Glencore in January, and is yet to find a new investor for it.
The previous administration handed control of KCM to a
provisional liquidator in May 2019, triggering an ongoing legal
dispute with its former owner Vedanta.
(Reporting by Chris Mfula in Lusaka; Writing by Helen Reid in
Johannesburg; Editing by Alexander Smith)