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GOVT, MINES SET FOR TAX ‘INDABA’

By SILUMESI MALUMO

A STAKEHOLDERS’ meeting to address challenges surrounding mining taxes will be held before the end of this week, Mines and Mineral Development Minister, Richard Musukwa has said.

The minister said the Government will meet all mining houses to resolve outstanding issues, especially those involving taxation.

Mr Musukwa said in an interview that all the mining houses would be invited to enable them voice their concerns, for which mutually beneficial solutions would be sought.

A lasting solution, he said, would have to be found during the meeting.

“We shall be meeting the mining houses before the end of this week,” he stressed.

Government, he said, would address the issues of concerning in the mine tax regime so that a win-win situation could be sustained.

Meanwhile, Zambia Chamber of Mines president, Goodwell Mateyo said the chamber had not received formal communication from the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development over the stakeholder meeting sched- uled to take place this week.

Mr Mateyo in a separate inter- view yesterday, said the chamber would therefore be waiting to receive formal communication from the ministry.
He said “I will not confirm on the planned stakeholder meet- ing, I will do so once we are com- municated to about it.

“So will confirm to you over the matter when we receive the formation communication,” Mr Mateyo said.

Taxation has been a major source of contention between the Mining industry and international observers of the extractive industry who have suggested that Zambia was losing up to US$3billion in taxaes a year through undervaluation, transfer pricing and other tax evasion schemes.

Last week, Mr Musukwa said Government intended to hold a stakeholder meeting with man- agement of all mining companies to resolve issues surrounding the mine taxes.

Meanwhile, Mr Musukwa said he would give a comprehensive statement regarding what was prevailing at Mopani Copper Mine, which had tendered a 90- day notice to place Mufulira and Nkana assets on care and maintenance.

Mr Musukwa said Government was keenly following all the issues at the mining firm and would give its position this week.

“I should say that I will give a comprehensive statement on the matter by this week,” he said.
Mineworkers Union of Zambia president, Joseph Chewe, complained that Government’s silence on decision by Mopani to suspend operations was saddening.

Mine Suppliers and Contractors President Augustine Mubanga complained the mining firm had resorted to award contractors one month contracts and appealed to Government to intervene.

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