Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo visits KCM Smelter Plant
File:Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo visits KCM Smelter Plant

Mining firms on the Copperbelt province are threatening to shutdown if the 7.5% import duty for Copper concentrates government will introduce in 2017 is not rescinded.

A source close to the mines has said that mine owners are saying that the 7.5% import duty which will be introduced is too high and that it will increase operating costs.

The source said the mines feel the increase in cost of doing business will threaten the viability of their firms.

He also said that the mine owners are considering taking their smelters to the Democratic Republic of Congo were production costs are cheaper.

“Mines on Copperbelt are opposed to the 7.5% import duty for copper concentrates government will introduce in 2017. The owners of  the mines are saying that overhead costs and operating costs will double thereby threatening the viability of their firms.

The threat by the mines will be a test of how the new Minister of Finance and MMD President Felix Mutati who has preached the need for policy consistence especially in the management of the country’s economy will deal with the looming crisis in the industry.

The mining industry in the country has been facing difficulties as the power deficits that rocked the country led to production cuts coupled with falling Commodity prices and policy inconsistencies by the PF Government resulted into thousands of employment cuts in the mines especially on the Copperbelt Province.

As late as November 2015 Konkola Copper Mines in Chingola suspended operations at its Nchanga underground mine in Chingola saying the mine will be back in operation “when market conditions improve.”

The jobs losses in mines are now in excess of 10,000. But that figure underestimates the scale of unemployment as it is not only mining workers being laid off but also mining contractors have already lost a lot of businesses which has resulted in more unemployment in other areas.

In Chambish a number of workers have been fired on flimsy chargers as the mines are said to have strategically been trimming their workforce without attracting unnecessary attention from government and other stakeholders.

Zambia is home to one of the largest Copper smelters in the world.

 

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38 COMMENTS

  1. Let the mines go to DRC and start up those operations and ask Fqml what happened. It’s only here in Zambia that these thieves can say that to government. Look at the copper prices right now, the prices are high and no one is talking about returning those who were fired. Moomans a contractor for barrick lumwana came in with machinery that wasn’t cleared by customs because it was intended for use on the Zambian soils. Upon their contract termination they wanted to get their machinery and leave ask them what happened and where are the machines now.Please don’t think when you say we are going to the DRC we will start dancing, you are free to go and good luck.

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    • I just can’t place who is singing and/or dancing “Dununa Reverse” between the mining firms and government! However between them one is surely singing while the other is surely dancing!

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  2. We can insult the owners of the mines if that is all there is but the truth of the matter is that they are the owners of the money and government is made to dance to their tune. It is a delicate matter at stake and we need to handle it carefully lest we cause another wave of job losses. Everything borders on how the initial agreements were made and if the agreements were corruptly drafted, then you face such problems where the government is blackmailed. I feel the PF government has no clout to deal with these matters. The policy inconsistencies have contributed to these problems. Even Felix Mutati will start flifloping very soon just as a way of pouring oil over troubled waters. Lets wait and see.

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  3. LET THEM GO, WE HAVE OUR CHINESE FRIEND AWAITING SUCH AN OPPORTUNITY. LET THEM GO NOW!

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    • Which Chinese friends.You will eat shiiiti in the next 5 years and drink Jameson everyday with these job losses…

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    • Your so – called Chinese friends are the ones who are at the forefront of investing in DRC ahead of Western firms. The Chinese are better at risk management that you give them credit for.

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  4. Taking advantage of Visionless Government of Kadansa.

    But in any case, the following must be observed:
    1). Polices are meant to steer the economy and made in best interest of all stakeholders (Hope PF did tat).
    2). If point 1). above was adhered to but these miners dont find business sense, let them go, others will come/ its high time Zambians run their own mines.
    3). Government should stop interfering in mine operations for political mileage caz as a strategic industry, miners can hold government at ransom as case maybe now.

    Kadansa and his PF must be strategic and tactful (Not politicking) in formaltng economic policies.

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  5. This can only be KCM who wants to operate the smelter on imported concentrates.
    Let them go to hell. 7.5% import duty is ok. If Felix changes this policy, I will change my political mind.

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    • You are right Chama! The only smelter processing oxide ores due to direct to blister technology is at KCM. These people will never stop playing mind games with our ignorant politicians! I mean no disrespect here, for example, what can my brother Bowman share on a topic like this one?

      The rest have sulphide based feed ISA in Mufulira, CCS in Chambeshi and Kansanshi smelter have common feed mechanisms. Question is why is only attributed to Copperbelt Mines?

      It is this irresponsible infestor called KCM! Go to DRC, your “balls” will drop ba***fikala.

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    • U guys are right these pranksters stopped mining en started relying on imported concentrates thereby denying govt coffers of the much needed revenue from mining operations tax. Mutati no rescinding decision we have had enough of this cry baby called KCM

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  6. The Jambian government needs us more than we need them.
    We can take our investment where we are well comed, such as:
    1) Botsvana
    2) Mali, and
    3) Hana

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  7. “The jobs losses in mines are now in excess of 10,000. But that figure underestimates the scale of unemployment as it is not only mining workers being laid off but also mining contractors have already lost a lot of businesses which has resulted in more unemployment in other areas.”

    DUNUNA REGRET…

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    • “jobs losses in mines are now in excess of 10,000″…..

      This is Lungu with his ONE MILLION JOBS PROMISE!

      Actually he was talking about creating one million jobs for SOUTH AFRICANS to supply Zambia with electricity, and one million jobs for Congolese to do their own refining.

      As for you Zambians, just keep on paying for his Jamesoni and his foreign holidays while you suffer.

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  8. Is IT IMPORT DUTY or EXPORT DUTY? If it is import duty I can support them since IMPORTING CONCENTRATES and ADDING VALUE TO THEM BY REFINING should NOT ATTRACT DUTY however EXPORTING CONCENTRATES means we are EXPORTING OTHER MINERAL CONSTITUENTS BEYOND COPPER and thus EXPORTING VALUE and JOBS! YES,IF IT IS EXPORT DUTY, then ALL MINERAL CONCENTRATES SHOULD ATTRACT EXPORT DUTY so that MINES INVEST FURTHER IN REFINING CAPACITY!!

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  9. The rush to import concentrates is a result of failure to adequately invest in mining operations. If allowed it will eventually kill the Zambian mining industry at a time when we are not fully diversified. As a nation we need a system that must set a clear distinction between trading and mining in the copper industry and set rules and regulations that will control these two activities. If trading is allowed to over shadow mining, then we are doomed.

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    • That’s true buddy, this means our mining operations especially KCM and Mopani will grind to a halt thus sending our people into the streets as concentrates from DRC and Chile will be processed in our Smelters.

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    • @10,ALL TIME, I SEE YOUR GOOD POINT. I see NOW what could be the LOGIC BEHIND THE DECISION EVEN IF GOVT ITSELF MIGHT NOT HAVE EXPLAINED. But then SUCH ISSUES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE TAKEN CARE OFF IN MINING DEVELOPMENT PLANS THAT MUST BE A BASIS FOR GRANTING MINING LICENSES!! What do the Mining monitoring units do then? SAD INDEED!!

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    • @zemwila these companies bought mines to mine our ore not to import concentrates. It’s not part of the contract. They taking advantage of the lawlessness in Congo and the good facilities in Zambia.

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  10. Good move by government. you cannot have a situation where a foreign company brings in concentrates from DRC, process the concentrates and mess up the environment, sales the copper and gets all the money without paying any tax. who will pay for the damage to the environment?

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  11. They shouldnt hold us hostage. Let them go uko kwine where they will find a cheaper taxes and cheap copper to mine. Oh wait crickets…there is nowhere cheaper to mine copper and get away with penny taxes and environmental abuses than Zambia. These guys have it too good and we have allowed it.

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  12. I don’t see why a government-ran mining industry cannot operate profitably if each Zambian became just a bit more patriotic. No one should be allowed to bring in imported concentrates tax-free because they will be killing Zambia’s mining industry. Also, I doubt whether they will be audited to make sure that other contained valuable metals (such as gold, silver, etc.) are adequately taxed on one hand and poisonous impurities (such as arsenic, antimony, lead, etc.) on the other hand are penalized.

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  13. I thought Mutati conducted consultations with key stakeholders before he came up with figures in his MMD/PF budget! I am shocked that we are seeing such reactions before the budget is even implemented. Free advice to Mutati: Mr Ever-Smiling Man:-in any budgeting exercise, please identify influential/key stakeholders and ensure that they are adequately consulted. You are likely to swallow your own vomit over this 7.5% tax on copper concentrates. Mark my words. If people start losing jobs over this 7.5%, PF cadres will protest against you and they will claim that you are working with UPND to make their party unpopular.

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  14. Country men lets take the bull by the horns. As an individual, at household level what contribution are you making to the well being of the economy and (Mankind). For 52yrs politicians have not met all our aspiration . So the onerous is upon ourselves to reposition and do exploits for the good of this Mother ZAMBIA . Opportunities are many, what matters is the direction you look. Foreigners are coming to our nation and seeing Zambia as A PARADISE yet ourselves cannot. Find something to do. I will not buy systems that prefer construction of houses with nails of excuses. Mines can no longer be relied upon. Lets explore other opportunities that will encourage creation of goods and services for the good of everyone. And am looking forward to that time when most people will wean…

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  15. Stupid investors let them go to congo if they want who cares.these fools have become big headed with our minerals while we are helping them to shift our stones.go ask fqm what they did to them after failing to complete the construction of the mine in the agreed period.
    In one language they say”when a blind person threatens to hit you just know that He’s stepping on the stone”they no longer fear to offer threats to zambian people because big fishes passes by for brown envelops.

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  16. Truth is no mine can operate in DRC because they have no electricity. What we call load shading here is nothing compared to the DRC. What these people do is take advantage of the chaotic situation in DRC to “collect ” the concentrate for almost nothing and bring it Zambia for treatment. In the end it’s our mines which suffer. I would suggest if they don’t want this tax let them take the concentrate to Zimbabwe.

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  17. Ask them what mode of transport they desire to use, is it by air, by sea or by road, then come to my office and let me pay for all of them to leave today and leave me to run all the mines. they must not take anything out or I will deal with them. Fools, *****s.

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  18. KCM is no longer a Mining company but a Processing company. It has shutdown all mining both at underground and in the Open Pit and has opted to import concentrates from Congo. Let them go so that a true Mining company can come and take over the mines. Mwanawasa messed up big time by bringing these Indians to run KCM. The Miners haven’t had an increment for 4 years and while Mopani has been sinking new shafts KCM has been closing mines.

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