Mining Tax Changes aimed at getting maximum benefits from Zambia’s Mineral Wealth-Davies Mwila

PF Secretary General Davies Mwila says the changes made to the mining tax regime in the 2019 budget is aimed at deriving maximum benefits from the Country’s wealth and boosting related business activities in the industry.

Mr. Mwila who has since urged mining companies to support the proposed tax regime says government wants to stabilize the taxation in the sector apart from getting what is meaningfully due to the Zambians.

He noted that the issues surrounding the Value added Tax-VAT refunds and payment of mine suppliers needed to be addressed with a sustainable and friendlier taxation regime.

Mr. Mwila says government has also broadened the tax base to ensure that a larger chunk of the budget is funded using local resources for sustainable development and improved people’s lives.

The Secretary General who was speaking during the PF Lufwanyama Fundraising braii at Mindolo dam in Kitwe on the Copperbelt said the Party will not hesitate to flush out any individual working against President Edgar Lungu.

He said the party wants officials who are credible and loyal to the President.

Mr. Mwila also urged the party to explain all the developmental projects being implemented by the party in Lufwanyama to win the electorates confidence.

He said government has built dams, roads and developed two farming blocks in Lufwanyama to improve people’s lives.

During the function over 260-thousand Kwacha was raised for party mobilization in Lufwanyama.

And PF Copperbelt Chairman Steven Kainga assured Mr. Mwila that the party is intact in the region.

The function was attended by Livestock Minister Kampamba Mulenga, PF Copperbelt Youth Chairman Nathan Chanda, District commissioners and several civic leaders.

Source: Lusaka Times

Mwanakatwe hikes mining taxes in her K86 billion budget

Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe has announced that Zambia will introduce new mining duties and increase royalties to help bring down mounting debt and cut its fiscal deficit.

Mrs Mwanakatwe announced this when she presented a K86.8 billion budget to Parliament this afternoon.

Mrs. Mwanakatwe announced plans to increase the country’s sliding scale for royalties of 3 to 9 percent by 1.5 percentage points.

The scale is adjusted so royalties are paid at higher levels as commodity prices climb and are reduced as prices fall.

A new 15 percent export duty on precious metals, including gold and gemstones, will be introduced, while copper and cobalt concentrate imports will incur a new 5 percent levy.

“As mineral resources are a depleting resource, it is vital to structure an effective fiscal regime for the mining sector to ensure that Zambians benefit from the mineral wealth our country is blessed with,” Mrs. Mwanakatwe said.

She said Zambia planned to cut its fiscal deficit to 6.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019 from 7.4 percent this year.

Mrs Mwanakatwe also revealed that the Zambian economy was expected to grow at least 4 percent in 2019, around the same level as a forecast for this year.

Source: Lusaka Times

ZCCM-IH | Appointment of Chief Financial Officer

ZCCM Investments Holding Plc (ZCCM-IH) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mrs Chilandu Josephine Sakala as Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) with immediate effect. The appointment of Mrs Sakala comes as a result of an internal reorganisation which saw the transfer of Mr Mabvuto T Chipata from the Finance Directorate as CFO to the Investments Directorate as Chief Investments Officer (“CIO”).

Mrs Sakala is a Chartered Accountant with Association of Chartered and Certified Accountant (“ACCA”) since 2003. Before joining ZCCM-IH, Mrs Sakala was Audit Senior Manager at KPMG, an international audit firm where she had worked since September 2003. She has vast experience in accounting and auditing which she gained while at KPMG. Mrs Sakala has led audit assignments of significant magnitude in a number of sectors including financial services, telecommunications, mining and energy and not-for-profit among others.

The Board is confident that Mrs Sakala will immensely contribute to the attainment of ZCCM-IH’s strategic goals and wish her all the best in her new role as CFO of the Company.

By Order of the Board
C Chabala
Company Secretary

Issued in Lusaka, Zambia on Tuesday, 25th September 2018

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First Issued on Tuesday, 25th September 2018

AEDC acquires N1bn customer database system, trains 47 staff

Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Plc (AEDC) has acquired 2.4 million euros (about N1.025 billion) Integrated Commercial Management System (InCMS) while training 47 staff to enhance its database, curb energy theft, accelerate metering and improve its customer services.

The Strategic and Technical Advisor to the MD/CEO of AEDC, Dr George Nguni who disclosed this on Monday in Abuja said the project on its activation on November 26, 2018 will centralise the database of electricity customers in the franchise area for better service.

Dr. Nguni who is also the Project Manager of INCMS said 47 AEDC staff are being trained on handling the system and they will retrain other staff across the business units.

“This will help us to also aggregate our data with information from metered transformers and feeders so we can access energy loss and resolve such,” Nguni said on the project’s impact in reducing the Aggregate Technical Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses of the DisCo.

The General Manager, Customer Service, Mrs Safiya Bello said new customers’ properties are given a Service Point Number (SPN) and a reference code while existing customers are being migrated into the system.

She said the system has been in use in 104 countries worldwide and 14 African countries including Ghana, Zambia and Kenya. With the activation by November, Nigeria will be the 15th African country while AEDC will become the first of the 11 DisCos to adopt it, Mrs Bello noted.

INCMS Project Secretary, Mimi Angyu said the rampant sales of meters by fraudsters was addressed in the system as meters are registered in a virtual warehouse and programmed with GPS for only a particular property to eliminate fraud.

The MD/CEO of Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC), core investor of AEDC, Engr. Emmanuel Katepa said, “A very huge chunk of this project is removing the discretion of junior officers tampering with customer service process and that could reduce our losses greatly.”

The system will largely eliminate junior field staff who will be tracked and monitored by managers to improve service efficiency of the DisCo, he noted.

Source: Daily Trust

First Quantum commends stability of Zambian mining policies

Global mining company First Quantum Minerals has complimented the Zambian government for the recent stability of the nation’s mining tax and royalty regime, which – if it continues – may increase investor confidence.

Moreover, First Quantum head of government affairs John Gladston commends Zambian Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe for the hard-line steps she proposed in July to handle outstanding debt in the country. He supports efforts to preserve fiscal stability and minimise mining tax regime fluctuations as this will engender increased confidence from investors. He tells Mining Weekly that Zambia’s investors have enjoyed much-needed market stability, which has significantly improved the state of mining in the country.

“One just has to look at the figures to see the improvement from the turbulent mining environment Zambia presented three years ago, with copper production in Zambia having increased by 10% in the first half of this year.”

Improved Zambian fiscal stability has had an influence in cultivating significantly higher levels of copper production from First Quantum subsidiary Kalumbila Minerals’ Sentinel copper mine operation, says Gladston. Across the Group, First Quantum produced 296 000 t of copper in the first half of 2018, with its Sentinel Mine showing a 28% increase on its year-on-year production figures over the second quarter. Sentinel Mine has further outlined that it expects its impressive production trajectory to continue for the remainder of the year, with the 2018 production figure expected to reach around 220 000 t.

Gladston states that Mwanakatwe’s mid-July announcement on the country’s planned steps to control additional debt accumulation and pay down remaining debt, showed investors “credible responsibility” and “positive forward planning”.

However, while Mwanakatwe’s approach has been noted as a welcome step in the right direction for Zambia and potential investors, improvements in Zambia’s mining sector were clearly visible before this, Gladston explains.

He chiefly attributes the improvement of mining in the country to an increase in copper commodity prices and the Zambian government’s commitment to stabilising the mining tax and royalties regime.

Three or four years ago, copper mining houses in Zambia had to deal with a number of tax regime changes in rapid succession, which were not positive, and this sent a negative message to potential investors while placing current investors under pressure, Gladston explains. Rapid legislative alterations, coupled with a decline in copper commodity prices, made for an unattractive investment destination, he adds.

However, copper prices rising steadily and government working hard through enforcing policy stability, has secured investor confidence in the country. Gladston states that First Quantum expects its Zambian mines to remain the company’s largest source of revenue for some years to come.

“Essentially, Zambia is an excellent destination to mine copper. Having historic roots in Zambia and having invested well over $5-billion in the country, this jurisdiction remains important to First Quantum.”

Keeping the Environment Positive

Gladston is adamant that the maintenance of fiscal stability in Zambia – particularly in relation to the continued stabilisation of the mining tax regime – will be paramount in encouraging new investment in the mining sector.

“Zambia as an investment destination, currently looks incredibly attractive, but temptation to tinker with the mining tax regime would be a retrograde step.”

Gladston states that the country’s current and potential investors are hoping to see “more of the same” from the country’s finance ministry in terms of stability, including local policies and ongoing governmental austerity policies. He says that the continuous provision of stability will inevitably, in the long run, reflect in new investments and projects entering the country’s mining project pipeline.

“First Quantum remains optimistic about Zambia, but – like all other investors, and other jurisdictions – it must remain vigilant over any country’s fiscal policies, particularly regarding the mining tax and royalties regime,” he concludes.

Source: Mining Weekly

Zambia ventilation shaft project finalised

Mining contracting and engineering services company Redpath Mining Africa has completed what it has dubbed the “milestone” Synclinorium Ventilation Shaft project for Zambia-based copper miner Mopani Copper Mines.

Redpath Mining Africa’s Zambian branch, Redpath Zambia, was initially awarded the project by Mopani Copper Mines in 2014 and completed it in June this year. The project – which took 49 months to complete and required 135 crew members at its peak – forms part of Mopani Copper Mines’ recapitalisation programme to extend the life span of its Kitwe-based Nkana copper and cobalt mine by 25 to 30 years.

“The project is certainly a milestone project for Redpath and one that it will refer back to for years to come for its remarkable safety statistics, challenging conditions and introduction of novel raiseboring equipment,” Redpath Synclinorium project contract manager Cape Marais tells Mining Weekly.

Redpath Zambia mine planner Errol Harcombe explains that the project entailed the provision of a new ventilation shaft for deepening work on the 2 370 Level (L) of the mine’s main Synclinorium shaft, which will enable the mine to further expand its mining production operations. The shaft includes a new access drive that serves as the 550-m-long connection between the vent shaft and the main shaft. The new ventilation shaft supplies fresh refrigerated air to working areas in the main shaft.

Harcombe states that the project required two separate legs of development. The first leg was from surface down to 2 370 L and the second leg was from 2 370 L to 3 960 L, with a further 514 m of development also required on 2370 L to reach the ventilation shaft position. Conventional raiseboring and blind sink methods were used throughout the project.

The four-year project was not without its challenges, with waste rock handling having been a major challenge for the Redpath team on site, he adds. Mining operations and the Redpath team had to use the same rail system for their rock-handling requirements, which Harcombe says created a “logistical nightmare”. Transporting equipment down the shaft system was also hampered by this shared transport system, with orebodies requiring preferential transport, he points out.

While these initial challenges slowed operations down, they were solved through proper communication with mine management, carefully planning transportation and using muck bays, Harcombe explains.

Redbore 100 Enters Africa

The Synclinorium Ventilation Shaft project also marked the entry of Redpath Mining’s Redbore 100 raise drill into Africa for the first time.

The Redbore 100 – that can raisebore up to 8 m in diameter and reach depths exceeding 1 000 m – was shipped from Australia in late 2014 and used to drill a 1 117-m-deep and 6.1-m-diameter shaft in two sections of 670 m and 447 m.

“Transporting the Redbore 100 from Australia to arrive on site on time was a mammoth task,” says Marais, elaborating that the 76 t raisebore machine took three months to complete its journey.

The drill had to be shipped from Australia to South Africa and was then transported to Zambia in 34 shipping containers. A further five shipping containers holding additional spare parts for the drill were shipped from Redpath’s North Bay offices, in Canada, to Zambia.

“The Redbore 100 is the most powerful, largest-capacity proven raise drilling system ever manufactured,” says Marais.

Strong on Safety

Marais and Harcombe agree that the most remarkable feature of the Synclinorium Ventilation Shaft project was its positive safety record throughout the project duration.

Harcombe enthuses that “Redpath worked 1 500 lost-time-injury-free shifts, with only three minor medical incidents occurring during the entire course of the project”.

Marais attributes the positive achievements to Redpath employees abiding strictly to the company’s fatal risk elimination protocols, together with adherence to the client’s Mopani Way Safety Programme – an initiative aimed at making its operations safe and sustainable through several modern safety interventions.

“Throughout the project, morale and spirit was high and we all believed and trusted in one other,” concludes Marais.

Source: Mining Weekly

Greater emphasis on safety at Konkola

Diversified miner Vedanta Resources is strengthening its focus on safe production at its subsidiary Zambia-based integrated copper producer Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) through the implementation of its Safety Stand Down campaign.

Vedanta’s campaign was launched by KCM CEO Deshnee Naidoo in July to raise safety standards and curb mine accidents and fatalities at KCM operations. The implementation follows four fatalities at its mines this financial year.

KCM operates underground and openpit mines, as well as several concentrators, a leaching plant, a flash smelter, a modernised refinery and a sulphuric acid plant. Its operations at Nchanga, Konkola, Nkana and Nampundwe are located on one of the highest-grade copper seams in the world.

The campaign – also aimed at intensifying safety awareness at operations – comes in the wake of KCM’s June announcement of a safe 400-t/d production focus that the miner initiated to meet its goal to raise monthly production to 12 500 t/m.

The company reiterates its commitment to safety while acknowledging that its “record to date has not been ideal”. At the campaign launch, Naidoo told employees that she found it unacceptable to have had multiple fatalities across KCM’s operations over the past six years. She further pleaded with all staff at KCM to internalise the company’s safety commitment of “zero harm and zero waste” and translate it into daily operations.

“All fatalities are preventable. Even when KCM is pushing to achieve a higher production target, the first thing on my mind – as a priority – is safety. It should also be the first thing on your minds. KCM cannot have production if it does not come safely. When there is a fatality, it hurts and devastates everyone.”

Naidoo emphasised that the campaign had been structured to recognise the impact of mine accidents on the families of the deceased and the economy, and renewed management’s and employees’ commitment to safe working practices. Leaders of the three unions representing employees at KCM have also agreed to provide extra oversight in the implementation of the safety campaign.

Naidoo further stressed that she would always opt to pause production if there was a threat to the safety of employees.

Investments Pay Off

Vedanta has been mining at KCM for 13 years and has invested more than $3-billion in upgrades to and expansions of the KCM mines and processing plants.

Vedanta chairperson Anil Agarwal announced in 2017 that the company would invest an additional $1-billion in KCM to improve mines’ operational efficiency and increase production capability.

Since the announcement, $300-million has been used for operational support programmes, clearing outstanding debts owed to contractors and suppliers, and concentrate procurement. The rest of the $1-billion investment will be spent on the construction of a new cobalt refinery, mine development at Konkola to access new areas of mining, and a new training centre.

Supporting these investments will be a 300 MW coal-fired power plant, in southern Zambia. Vedanta aims to invest about $300-million in the plant, for which prefeasibility studies have started.

Moreover, through continued investment, Vedanta and its joint venture partner, State-owned investment holdings company ZCCM Investments Holdings, have managed to extend the mines’ expected life-of-mine from under 20 years to 50 years, and now plan to focus on further optimising production.

With a clear focus to increase production at KCM to 400 000 t within the next five years, the company enthusiastically reports that production averaged 350 t/d, just short of the 400 t/d target, during the last two weeks of June.

KCM will continue to aim for the 400 t/d safe production target – and work to reclaim KCM’s position as Zambia’s premier copper producer from there.

“KCM’s focus will now be on tapping into the rich orebody at Konkola Deep mine, in Chililabombwe, which has a grade of about 3%. This will give KCM a competitive edge over its peers and fulfil our vision for 50 years of mining in Zambia.”


ZCCM-IH | Update to shareholders based in France regarding the refund of Withholding Tax of 15% on the ZCCM-IH dividend


At the ZCCM-IH Annual General Meeting held on 29 June 2018, the shareholders of the Company approved a Final Dividend of K0.84 per share for the financial year ended 31 March 2017.

Subsequently, Dividend payments were made from Monday, 30 July 2018. For shareholders whose shares are listed on Paris Euronext, dividend payments were made from 28 August 2018.

Shareholders based in France could be exempted from paying withholding tax of 15% on the strength of the provisions of the Double Tax Agreement (DTA) of 1950 signed between Zambia and France…

Download the full announcement here…

Government Backs KCM

Copperbelt Minister Japhen Mwakalombe has outlined the Government’s commitment towards the growth of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), saying enhanced operations are a springboard for creating jobs and increasing government revenue.

The minister was speaking when he toured KCM operations on Wednesday, 12 September, on a familiarization visit. He was accompanied by Chingola Mayor Titus Tembo, District Commissioner, Mary Chibesa and Nchanga Member of Parliament Hon. Chali Chilombo.

“The Government values KCM and wants to see the company grow. The country’s economy is driven by the private sector and so Government would like to maintain good relations with the sector,” he said.

Hon. Mwakalombe said that the Government was aware of the challenges KCM was facing and called for dialogue between the company and its stakeholders in order to find solutions.

The Minister also said he would champion the diversification of the Copperbelt economy into agriculture, aided by mining in order to reduce dependency and pressure on existing mines.

“There is heavy dependence on the mines, which puts them under a lot pressure hence the need to diversify into agriculture in the province. Most youths just supply to the mines and can’t venture into other things,” The Minister added.

KCM Chief Operating Officer Frank Russo-Bello said KCM was committed to the development of the Copperbelt and the entire economy in spite of some cash flow challenges affecting the business.

Mr Russo-Bello said KCM had initiated measures to raise production and improve its cash flows.

“Our focus is to expand and raise production safely in order to improve cash flows and so we have put in place initiatives such as the Safe 400+ tonnes per day campaign, which is the key driver to raise copper ore production at both the Nchanga and Konkola mines,” Mr Russo-Bello said. “Other initiatives include explorations for new resources and options to develop open pit mines into underground mines.”

He said KCM appreciated the Government’s stance to assist in resolving valued added tax (VAT) refunds, a matter that is receiving attention at top leadership levels of Government and Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA). He also pledged KCM’s resolve KCM to settle payments to its suppliers.

Source: KCM News