President Edgar Lungu has directed the Minister of Finance and Minister of Mines and Minerals Development to change the 2015 Mineral Royalty Tax by 8th April 2015.
In letters to the two ministers today, Lungu said 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.
Lungu ordered the ministers to temporary reinstate the 2014 fiscal regime and postpone implementation of the 2015 fiscal regime.
Lungu said he also noted that some mines are high-cost while others are low-cost operations. “Obviously the mining industry has been affected by copper prices on the international market. It is clear that this unfavourable economic trend globally has been mainly on account of weak global demand for copper,” Lungu said.
But just after being sworn in as president, Lungu had said Zambia would maintain a new mineral royalty tax despite fears that it could lead to mine closures.
Lungu said his government’s policies would remain consistent and predictable. “The government’s desire to ensure companies pay the right taxes will continue,” he added.