Norway, ZRA set to improve

mine tax systems The Norwegian government is working with Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) special mining unit in up scaling capacity and competencies in the mine tax systems in the country.

Norwegian Ambassador to Zambia Arve Ofstad disclosed in Kalumbila yesterday that the Norwegian tax authority was working closely in collaboration with the ZRA large tax payer’s office in building capacities and other possible avenues.

“This project is to ensure that the two teams get the right taxes to demand from the large mining companies and other players in the mining industry of Zambia.” Mr Ofstad explained.

He also disclosed that his government, the ZRA, the Ministry of Mines and the Bank of Zambia were also working at establishing a system of how much is being processed by the mines to avoid double counting.

Mr Ofstad further said his government was working with all stakeholders in Zambia in establishing a data system of defining percentages of copper ore and other minerals.

“The reason is that data collected in the past has been very unclear as to how much ore is being churned out per year from different mines and ore bodies in Zambia.” Mr. Ofstad pointed out.

The Ambassador disclosed that all forms of data which include weigh bridges, copper ore and the final products for export will be captured to provide relevant and accurate information going forward.

He noted that the inconsistencies in copper ore data have manifested to due lack of good collaboration and defined roles among the various stakeholders involved.

FQM Kalumbila Mine assistant general manager Tristan Pascall urged government to maintain a stable and forecast tax regime.

“A stable tax regime will encourage capital intensive investment in Zambia for the benefit of the local people. As an investor I have to choose the tax numbers , where it is fair and more stable is where we put our investment.” Mr Pascall pointed out.

He further said that two months ago FQM brought in investors with hedge funds from the Europe and America to come and invest in Zambia.

Mr Pascall noted that FQM has a lot of confidence in Zambia hence the interest in investing more.

Mr Pascall said Sentinel Mine was expected to start operations in July this year with an initial output of 20, 000 tonnes to about 300, 000 tonnes at full capacity in the next few years to come.

The FQM has will be introducing a Zambian partner and simultaneously hand over a full empowerment process of Kashimi Copper Mines, situated in Mkushi North.

Mr Pascall explained that FQM and its Zambian partners were facing challenges with registration processes and wondered why when they have already demonstrated their capabilities.

“This is where we started as FQM 50 years ago and we look forward to developing it once it goes into production and will list on the Lusaka Stock Exchange. We hope to start again as new FQM in Zambia. Mr. Pascall said.