Zambia: FQM to Increase Taxes Due to Govt

FIRST Quantum Minerals (FQM) will progressively increase the amount of taxes due to the Zambian Government as more mining units start production.

FQM resource optimisation manager John Gladson said FQM will not indulge in tax avoidance but would instead increase taxes to KR10 billion per year by the end of 2015.

The company owns 80 per cent shares in Kansanshi Mining in Solwezi and is developing other units in the North-Western Province.

Mr Gladson was speaking in Solwezi during the tour of FQM flagship, Kansanshi Mining, by media heads and other journalists from various media houses, who include Times of Zambia Managing Director, Godffrey Malama. He said it was disheartening that some investors have chosen to be avoiding the taxes, thereby robbing Zambians of the much-needed resources for local development.

He said instead of sticking to tax obligations some companies have invested heavily in the engagement of astute lawyers who painstaking study the Zambia laws for loopholes which they take advantage of to avoid paying some taxes.

Mr Gladson said FQM was happy to remain the biggest taxpayer among mining companies operating in the country.

He said FQM projected to start paying total taxes of US$2 billion per year from the 2015 when more of its mining units start production.

Earlier in his presentation, Kansanshi Mining acting general manager, Alan Delaney said the mining house has paid up KR7.8billion in corporate tax for the period 2005 to 2012 and another KR1.5 billion in mineral royalty for the same period.

Last year alone, he said, the firm paid a total of KR3.1 billion out of which more than KR2 billion was in corporate tax, with the rest being in mineral royalty and pay-as-you-earn for its employees.

The company has increased its workforce made up of mainly local people from 3,354 in January 2009 to 9,000 by May last year.

Mr Delaney said the Kansanshi Mine was involved in various projects, in health, education and other sectors under its corporate social responsibility area.

The two-day visit by senior journalists which started on Thursday was expected to end yesterday afternoon.

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