(Adds details on affected projects)
LUSAKA, June 24 Canada's First Quantum
has delayed investment projects worth more than $1 billion in
Zambia due to uncertainty over the fiscal regime in Africa's
second biggest copper producer, a director said on Tuesday.
Zambia plans to review mining taxes to boost government
revenue after "inadequate" receipts from the sector last year,
Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda said last week. The
southern African nation also introduced a 10 percent export duty
on unprocessed minerals.
"There has been a lot of uncertainty in the fiscal regime.
First Quantum has either slowed down or postponed over $1
billion in capital expenditure because of this uncertainty,"
company director Matt Pascal told a mining conference.
"If this chorus against the mining industry continues, it
will end up killing the golden goose," he added.
Pascal said First Quantum had stockpiled 200,000 tonnes of
copper concentrates worth $350 million at its Kansanshi mine
after Zambia, which has limited smelter capacity, introduced the
10 percent export duty on concentrate exports.
The affected projects were the Kansanshi expansion and the
second phase of the smelter development, which was initially
delayed due to technical problems, Pascal told Reuters.
"Once these are resolved the projects will proceed, provided
there is certainty in the tax regime," he said.
He added he believed Zambia had the highest tax rate in the
world despite public sentiment that the mines were contributing
little to revenue. Mining taxes contributed 18.8 percent to
government revenue in 2013.
(Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Tiisetso Motsoeneng and