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Mining firms in Zambia welcome tax relief measures

LUSAKA, March 31 (Xinhua) — Mining firms in Zambia on Tuesday welcomed the government’s decision to suspend export duty on precious metals and import duty on mineral concentrates in order to cushion the mining sector.

Last Friday, Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu announced that the government will suspend export duty on precious metals and import duty on mineral concentrates to cushion the mining sector.

The Zambia Chamber of Mines, an association of mining firms, said the move was the first step in the direction that must necessarily lead to a broader relief package similar to that being deployed by other countries in the face of the coronavirus.

“The value of this announcement is greatly geared towards making better use of latent tertiary ore smelting and refining capacity while the bulk of the industry’s core primary mining and metallurgical processing continues to need cashflow relief to make it through this fight for survival,” Sokwani Chilembo, the chief executive officer of the association said.

He said the response was a crucial recognition on the part of government that it must change tack from its prior focus on raising taxes at all costs.

Zambia, Africa’s second largest copper producer, introduced the taxes which came into effect in January 2020. Mining firms rejected the taxes saying they will kill the industry.

Analysts have since welcomed the government’s decision saying it will bring relief to the mining sector.

Source: Xinhua
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