THE Government is working on a legal framework that will compel all mining companies operating in Zambia to disclose their production capacity and all material payments they make to the Government.
Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Yamfwa Mukanga said the Government would develop a legal framework to promote transparency and accountability in the mining sector.
The legal frsamework will also encompass copper and gemstone small scale miners who will be required to disclose their production proceeds and payments being made to the Government annually.
Addressing journalists in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Mukanga who also officially announced Zambia's compliance of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), said Zambia had managed to fulfill all the requirements to qualify for the award.
On September 19, 2012, the global EITI board declared Zambia EITI compliant making it the 15th country to be honoured with the EITI status and the first in the Eastern and Southern Africa.
Mr Mukanga said the legal framework to be developed would also help the Government in making informed projections in the sector.
The Government, Chamber of Mines of Zambia (CMZ) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under EITI to disclose and publish all material payments they make to Government and the State to disclose all payments they receive from the mining company.
"We can only become sustainable and safeguard the EITI compliance if we have a legal framework that compel all mining companies and the Government to disclose payments and receipts made," Mr Mukanga said.
He urged the EITI council and all stakeholders to begin the process of introducing the needed legal framework.
Mr Mukanga also recommended that the Zambia EITI council considers expanding the EITI scope by including other sectors such as forestry and fisheries.
The minister said EITI compliance status had opened the avenue for Zambia to start enjoying more benefits for implementing the EITI saying that the expected benefit would include improved governance, revenue collection and provides a deterrent against corruption.
Mr Mukanga said, "this means that Zambia has to continue promoting transparency and accountability by producing good annual reconciliation reports which meets EITI standards and rules."