Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 19 August 2009 – Foreign mining companies in Zambia “’ Africa’s top copper producer “’ want the government to adopt mining policies that will boost investment in the country at a time when copper prices are recovering.
Nathan Chishimba “’ president of the Zambian Chamber of Mines (CMZ), which represents the interests of the mining firms “’ said companies wanted stable and long-term policies that would reduce risk to their investments.
“Mining companies are not saying the policies should not be changed, but that there should be consistency so that any changes should not result in a fundamental shift in the direction of the industry,” he added.
In 2008, Zambia introduced a 15% profit variable tax, 25% mineral windfall tax “’ which it scrapped earlier this year “’ and raised corporate tax to 30% from 25%, upsetting foreign mining companies.
Zambia said last week that it would not refund foreign mining companies millions of dollars they had paid in taxes when the controversial law was in force, but could revise existing taxes. “We must have policies that recognise the magnitude of the risk in the mining sector, which is the long-term nature of the industry,” Chishimba said.
Chishimba said Zambia was set to achieve the targeted production of 600 000 tonnes of copper this year. “The country can achieve the target provided that all other factors, such as reliable supply of power and other logistical arrangements, are met," he added.
Foreign mining companies operating in Zambia include Canada’s First Quantum Minerals, London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc, Equinox Minerals and Glencore International AG of Switzerland.