24 October 2018, Lusaka — Zambia’s Finance Ministry has said a tax policy review committee will be appointed to deal with technical issues related to the government’s plan to increase mining taxes.
The ministry also said it had taken note of criticism by Zambia’s Chamber of Mines over the planned tax changes.
Africa’s second-largest copper producer said late last month that it would introduce new mining duties and increase royalties to help bring down mounting debt.
Large miners such as First Quantum, Glencore and Vedanta Resources have often criticised the Zambian government over rising costs at their operations.
“We remain open to dialogue with mining companies that are willing to amicably discuss the transition to the new mining tax regime,” a Finance Ministry statement quoted minister Margaret Mwanakatwe as saying.
The Chamber of Mines said last week that some companies had already scrapped expansion plans over the tax hikes and that the country’s copper output could fall.
The tax increases are part of government efforts to trim the fiscal deficit to 6.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2019 from 7.4 percent this year.
Mining accounts for more than 70 percent of Zambia’s foreign exchange earnings.