Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 05 August 2008 – The government of Zambia – Africa’s biggest copper producer – has held what has been described as “fruitful talks” with the mining companies operating in the country on the subject of the new Zambian mining code.
Reporting from here, Bloomberg News quoted Zambian Chamber of Mines president Nathan Chishimba as expressing satisfaction with the discussions so far. “We are making progress on various issues of concern,” Chishimba said.
“The discussions revolving around the new Mine and Mineral Act are aimed at resolving contentious matters,” Chishimba said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg News. He would not elaborate any further, however, and the news agency’s attempts to reach finance minister Ng’andu Magande for his comment were unsuccessful.
On 1 April this year the Zambian government introduced a range of new measures, including windfall and variable-profit taxes, which raised the effective tax rate on miners from 31% to 47%. Two months later Magande revealed that the government was renegotiating the new tax code with some mining companies in order to boost mineral production.
Copper accounts for about 70% of Zambia’s export income. Production has risen significantly as the price of the metal more than doubled in the past three years.
Bloomberg reports that revenue from mining royalties soared almost fourfold in the first six weeks after the new tax structure came into operation.