Zambia, Africa’s top copper producer, has tightened its regulations on taxation of mining companies to boost compliance and revenue collection, the minister of mines said on Saturday.
President Michael Sata has expressed concerns that copper exporters are misrepresenting the amount of metal leaving the country. Data shows much of Zambia’s exported copper is destined for Switzerland, but little of it shows up in Swiss customs figures, raising questions about transparency.
Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma said that mining companies would now be required to provide information on tonnages, type and grade of ore mined, quantities and the end product.
Yaluma said mining companies would also be required to submit annual reports on the recovery percentages and efficiency of all mining and metallurgical processes.
“We have reviewed legislation in order to independently monitor the production and export of minerals and failure to comply will result in revocation of licences and other punitive measures,” he said in a statement.
Mining companies will also be compelled to provide details of the quantities of minerals sold and their average selling price, he added.
“Mineral production has been improving over the years but this improvement has not been matched with a corresponding increase in revenue to the government,” Yaluma said.
Vice President Guy Scott said in April that Zambia planned to tighten its grip on the government’s share of profits made at the country’s mines, boosting tax revenue.
Companies operating in Zambia include Glencore, Indian miner Vedanta and Canadian-listed First Quantum, Barrick Gold and Brazil’s Vale.