Lumwana for dialogue over new mining taxes

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BUUMBA CHIMBULU   writes

@SunZambian

LUMWANA Copper Mine has pledged to continue engaging Government on the best way of tackling the newly introduced tax measures.

This is meant to ensure there is a mutually-beneficial way forward for the operations.

Subsequent to the first Lumwana board meeting following the Barrick/Randgold merger, Barrick’s chief operating officer for Africa and the Middle East, Willem Jacobs, said the company was mindful that the Government was under pressure to increase its revenue.

He said however that at the same time government’s proposed tax changes would put Lumwana in a challenging situation.

According to Mr Jacobs, the proposed changes to taxes and royalties would imperil the mine’s ability to sustain returns to all stakeholders, such as the significant contribution of more than US$3.3 billion it had already made to the Zambian economy over the past 10 years.

“Lumwana has made detailed proposals to the Government about a partnership approach which would provide the State with an improved share in the economics of Lumwana without overburdening the mine.

“Finding a win-win solution between the industry and Government would without doubt increase investor confidence in Zambia and safeguard the long-term prospects of its mining industry,” he said

Meanwhile, Mr Jacobs said media reports that Barrick had sold Lumwana were untrue, but given the challenging conditions the mine was facing, all options would have to be considered.

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