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MINING companies should embrace dialogue on the proposed tax regime as threats will not help ease the situation, the Emerald and Semi-Precious Stones Mining Association of Zambia (ESMAZ) has said.

And ESMAZ says it will engage Government on the proposed 15 per cent export tax on emeralds.

ESMAZ president Victor Kalesha said blackballing government with downsizing the workforce was retrogressive.

Mr Kalesha said it was obvious that there could be genuine concerns in regard to taxes but there were channels to be followed unlike opting to blackmail the Government.

He said in a statement that mining firms should comply with statutory requirements.

Mr Kalesha said gemstone miners equally had a grievance over the introduction of the 15 percent export tax but had opted to express their concerns to Government.

“In this regard we want congratulate our big brothers Kagem and Gemcanton mines for not taking the root of threatening Government with downsizing but opted for dialogue and negotiating.

We cannot have companies whose priority number one is maximising profits at the expense of local development of our country,” he said.

Mr Kalesha said the mineral natural resources Zambia was endowed with should help support the livelihoods of citizens and urged mining investors to seek audience with President Edgar Lungu.

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