Chief Mumena of Zambia’s North Western Province has urged urgent dialogue between Government and Barrick Lumwana over the mining company’s decision to suspend operations in the country.
The traditional ruler said suspending operations and pulling out of the country was not the solution, but instead Barrick and the Government should quickly engage in dialogue over the matter.
The mining company recently announced it was pulling of the country following the passage of legislation that raised the royalty rate on the country’s open pit mining operations from 6 per cent to 20 per cent.
The new taxation regime which is expected to be effected on January 1 2015, eliminates corporate income tax but imposes a 20 per cent gross royalty on revenue “without any consideration of profitability”.
But Chief Mumena told Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) in interview monitored yesterday that it would be regrettable for Barrick to pull out of the country considering the negative effects this would have on the economy.
He said the onus was therefore on Government and the company to come up with an amicable solution.
Chief Mumena argued that policies were not final and therefore could be changed depending on the situation.
“There is nothing like final policy, policies can change and this has happened in the past before,” Chief Mumena.