Zambia set to topple DRC in copper production – MetalsGuru

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Southern Times Africa reported that despite outcries from the mining sector over inconsistencies in policy formulation in the industry, Mr Christoher Yaluma, Zambia’s Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister is optimistic the country could overtake its neighbour, the Democratic Republic of Congo in copper production.

There is an impasse between the mining companies and government over the withholding of over USD 500 million in value added tax, which has sparked fears of massive job lay offs, as well as shelving of new projects, as mining companies struggle to remain sustainable.

Recently, Mopani Copper Mines, Chambishi Metals, Konkola Copper Mines, among others, expressed misgivings over the delayed resolution of the outstanding VAT refunds by the Zambian Revenue Authority and other exporters which was hurting them badly.

They contend that unless the matter is resolved urgently; they might be forced to review their operations, including retrenching and reviewing corporate social responsibility contributions to communities in which they operate.

The revenue authority recently told local media that the agency would consider refunding the companies their VAT only if they show proof of their exports through receipts.

The mining companies, however, contend that this is beyond their reach as their efforts end at exporting the commodity and that they do not know the end users of the copper once sold on the international market.

Mr Dan Callow CEO of Mopani Copper Mines recently said that the withholding of the USD 200 million in VAT has affected the company’s operations and fears for the more than 21 000 workers, contractors as well as suppliers that rely on their sustained operations.

Mr Callow argued that the withholding of the VAT has forced the company to either shelve various projects and suspended others until amicable and durable solutions are found.

Source – Southern Times Africa

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