LUSAKA Jan 8 Zambia's mining revenue rose by a
quarter in 2012 after Africa's top copper producer doubled
royalties charged on mining firms, bringing in badly needed
revenue for social spending and farm subsidies.
Zambia, like other African countries, wants to extract more
revenue from their mining industries - a move miners have warned
may cause them to scale back operations.
Foreign mining companies operating in Zambia include
Canada's First Quantum Minerals, London-listed Vedanta
Resources, Glencore of Switzerland and Barrick
Gold of Canada.
Zambia collected 4.4 billion Zambian kwachas ($830.19
million) in mining taxes last year compared with 3.3 billion
Zambian kwachas in 2011, deputy finance minister Miles Sampa
told Reuters on Tuesday.
Of these, revenue from mineral royalties jumped 72 percent
to 1.5 billion kwacha in 2012, while revenue from the
profit-based income tax was largely steady at 2.6 billion
"The problem is that only about two mines are currently
declaring profit and paying the due tax," Sampa said.
"We should be able to increase mining revenue further if we
address the problem of tax avoidance."
Zambia last year brought in guidelines for mineral exports
to allow state agencies to verify weight and content to enhance
Government estimates showed the country was losing as much
as $1 billion each year through tax avoidance and the government
would this year closely monitor mining companies, Sampa said.
($1 = 5.30 Zambian kwachas)
(Reporting by Chris Mfula)