19 January 2013

Zambia: First Quantum to Pay $U.S.1 Billion Tax

FIRST Quantum Minerals (FQM) has projected to be paying in excess of US$1 billion in profit tax to the Zambian Government annually once Sentinel Mine at Trident comes on stream in 2014.

FQM resource optimisation manager John Gladston said in Lusaka yesterday that the mining company was committed to paying taxes to the Government and was set to pay $1 billion once the expansion programme, including the development of Sentinel Mine at Trident, comes on board.

In an interview, Mr Gladston said with the expansion of Kansanshi Mine and the coming on line of Sentinel Mine, FQM would be in a position to pay in excess of $1 billion per year, adding that Kansanshi would increase its copper output, with the addition coming from Sentinel Mine.

The mine paid in excess of $450 million in taxes to the Government last year and Mr Gladston said the firm was committed to paying more taxes once Sentinel Mine was fully operational.

He said the taxes the firm would be paying to the Government would be above the $750 million Government raised from the Eurobond.

"We are happy to be paying the taxes to the Government and we want the tax regime to be fair.

"We are ready to comply with the new tax regime the Government will be putting in place. We want to be transparent in our transactions," he said.

The firm welcomed Government's initiatives to audit figures of mining firms in Zambia to ascertain production figures and check who was evading tax.

He said with regard to corporate social responsibility, the mining company would be putting in place a number of projects in the mining areas where it operates.

"We are putting in place a number of infrastructure development such as the construction of schools, clinics and industries to support the local community," he said.

Mr Gladston said the company planned to build a township in Kalumbila together with a school, clinics and industries.

About 2, 000 Zambians are expected to be directly employed at Sentinel Mine at Trident when it is fully operational and 400 additional Zambian jobs are expected at the proposed Solwezi smelter planned by First Quantum Minerals.

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