Zambia on overdrive to scale up mineral production in the country

On Wednesday, Zambia’s mines minister stated that the government was examining the mining tax structure with key stakeholders to establish a stable, predictable, and competitive regime.

“This will also attract both local and foreign investment in mining and ultimately scale up mineral production in the country,” Minister Paul Kabuswe said in the parliament of Africa’s second-largest copper producer.

Kabuswe, appointed last month by recently elected President Hakainde Hichilema, gave no details about specific changes the government might make to tax policy.

Mining companies operating in Zambia have long complained about double taxation in a country where, since 2019, mineral royalty payments are not treated as a deductible expense when calculating corporate income tax.

Kabuswe also said he would report back to parliament about Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Mopani Copper Mines, without giving further details.

Zambia took on $1.5-billion in debt to buy Mopani from Glencore in January and is yet to find a new investor for it.

The previous administration handed control of KCM to a provisional liquidator in May 2019, triggering an ongoing legal dispute with its former owner Vedanta.

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