First Quantum Minerals mum on export earnings compliance

Largest Zambian copper producer yet to confirm adherence to Bank of Zambia directive

First Quantum Minerals (FQM), Zambia’s leading copper producer, has remained tight-lipped on whether it adheres to the Bank of Zambia’s (BOZ) export proceeds tracking framework directive.

Responding to a media inquiry, FQM’s Public Relations Manager, Mirriam Hammond, stated that reporting on the directive “will only be availed at the end of the quarter given the 1st of January implementation date and the 90 days reporting period.”

Hammond further acknowledged that “It is still in the early stages, and there have been numerous meetings between FQM, banks, and BOZ to discuss, clarify details, systems, and concerns.” Efforts to obtain direct confirmation from FQM’s country manager, Dr. Godwin Beene, proved unsuccessful by press time.

Analysts speculate that with only a month remaining in the first quarter, FQM might be seeking extensions or loopholes to meet compliance deadlines due to the limited timeframe.

The BOZ directive mandates all Zambian exporters to open bank accounts with local banks and deposit all export earnings within 90 days.

Given that copper exports constitute over 70% of Zambia’s annual exports, FQM’s compliance is crucial to the directive’s success.

Analysts and economists anticipate that the Kwacha could experience further appreciation if the directive is implemented effectively. The framework is expected to enhance transparency and encourage more foreign exchange inflows from exports.

The BOZ directive requires exporters to establish and maintain bank accounts with domestic banks and deposit all export proceeds within 90 days from the export date.

Additionally, all exporters are obligated to submit customs export declarations to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).

Banks receiving export proceeds are mandated to report to the BOZ electronically through the Balance of Payment (e-BoP) Monitoring System.

The directive outlines substantial penalties for non-compliant exporters, banks, and financial institutions, including the revocation of tax clearance certificates and Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TPINs).

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