President Edgar Lungu has directed the Ministers of Finance and Mines and Minerals Development to effect changes to the 2015 mineral royalty tax by 8th April, 2015.
In letters to the two Ministers on March 25th, President Lungu stated that after receiving submissions from individual mining companies and the chamber of mines, he has noted that the new tax regime poses a challenge to some mining houses.
The President also noted that some mines are high-cost while others are low-cost operation.
Mr. Lungu noted that the mining industry has been affected by copper prices on the international market.
He said the unfavourable economic trends globally have been mainly on account of weak global demand for copper.
“I wish to take this opportunity to reiterate my government‘s resolve to continue putting dialogue at the centre of our governance systems. Dialogue between my government and the mines shall continue.” President Lungu said.
President Lungu emphasized that government will be amenable to progressive ideas that will assist in addressing challenges in the mining sector.
He said the challenges cannot be resolved overnight but that these matters are not insurmountable.
President Lungu said he has therefore directed the two ministers to review the mining tax regime and make recommendations to Cabinet by 8th April, 2015.
He further said he has directed the two Ministers to use the current legislation and administrative procedures to ensure that mines facing severe challenges are assisted.
This is according to a statement made available to ZANIS by Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda.