Barrick Gold says Lumwana mine engages Zambia govt over taxes

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JOHANNESBURG, January 21 – The world’s largest gold mining company Barrick Gold said on Monday its Lumwana copper mine was continuing to engage with the Zambian government and community stakeholders over proposed tax changes.

Last year Zambia, Africa’s second largest copper producer, announced plans to introduce new mining duties, replace value-added tax with a sales tax and increase royalties from this month, to help reduce its rising public debt.

Barrick chief operating officer for Africa and the Middle East Willem Jacobs said the company was mindful that the government was under pressure to increase revenue, but the planned tax changes “would put Lumwana in a challenging situation”

“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 $3.3 billion it has already made to the Zambian economy over the past 10 years,” Jacobs said.

“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.”

He said finding a win-win solution between the industry and government would increase investor confidence in Zambia and safeguard the long-term prospects of its mining industry.

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

– African News Agency (ANA)