FILE: President Edgar Chagwa Lungu with management and staff at First Quantum Minerals’ Sentinel Mine in Kalumbila, along with dignitaries including Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Hon. Richard Musukwa (left), and FQM Country Manager General Kingsley Chinkuli (second right) and Sentinel Mine General Manager Morris Rowe.

First Quantum Minerals has announced plans to reduce its workforce by 2,500 local and expatriate employees during the first quarter of 2019, in addition to an unspecified number of contractors.

The redundancies will be achieved in a phased manner.

FQM says the difficult and sad decision to make lay-offs originates from the government’s 2019 Budget, which includes an additional 1.5 percent increase on all mineral royalty tax bands, and an additional two royalty bands of 8.5 and 10 percent when the copper price exceeds 7,500 and 9, 000 US dollars per tonne respectively.

The Company said in a statement that critically, mineral royalties will cease to be deductible from corporate income tax, a measure not seen in other copper mining jurisdictions.

It noted that other measures include the introduction of a yet to be quantified sales tax to replace VAT, meaning companies cannot reclaim tax on input purchases.

The Company said it is thought that this measure will be most damaging to local Zambian mine suppliers.

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31 COMMENTS

  1. Blah blah blah. You might as well pack up and leave. We are not changing on this one. Try something else. This arm twisting won’t work.
    Gone are the days when African governments were weak.

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    • Government should not curve in this time around. These alms-twisting tactics of blackmail each other are synonymous with multi-nationals operating in developing countries. They use them to continue exploiting our people of equitable value we deserve from our God given extractable natural resources. They need our resources than we need their business operations. Why should Africa be giving away her valuable resources for a song?

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    • HH and All the owners he sold our mines to are despicable. As despicable as the Privatisation Thief himself.

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    • Well this is what happens when all you have been doing is reading speeches about economical diversification on paper instead of putting it into practice…spending billions on tarmac priced at a whooping $1million/km instead of pumping that into agriculture.
      PF govt do not have the backbone or the money to dig in or play chicken with the mines and they mines know it…very soon this lazy thing who has come from Japan will send Maggie with a blank chequebook to go and negotiate with them behind closed doors.

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    • Normal business practice and if that’s the way they want to roll so be it!!! Pay the retrenched employees their dues and they get into farming creating a new wave of Zambian Entrepreneurs.

      These new entrepreneurs will immediately release now capital on the market and their new ventures such as fish farming, vegetable farming etc will create new employment among the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise.

      This is a good thing and we can now see what other measures they will come up with. In fact the largest expense is their payroll on expertriates who can actually be replaced by local personnel.

      Good riddance … let’s roll.

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    • AND SO IN THE 90s A QUESTION OF CHOICE WAS PARADED. CHOOSE BETWEEN INVESTMENT AND INFESTMENT. AN EXTREMELY SELFISH MULUMBWANA LIKE MANY INDIVIDUALS IN PARASTATAL COMPANIES IN ZAMBIA TODAY WAS USED AND , THE CHOICE WAS MADE. THE UNFORTUNATE ROUTE OF INFESTMENT.
      What sends us to the grave? 1) Well passage of time aka old age. A natural phenomenon. 2) Biological malfunctioning of our bodies that bleeds conditions like Diabetes, Hypertension, Cancer and the likes. Hugely perpetrated by lifestyle. 3) Infections in pathogens and and neural toxins. No time for neural toxins but paracites. Foreign parasites can wipe out the entire generation if left unchecked. In their categories I dread viruses and vicious microbio bacteria. It is reported and documented though that some bacteria are beneficial…

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    • …to our bodies, mutual benefits in a symbiosis kinda arrangement exists between hosts and paracites. Infestors ravege crop fields turning a blind eye farmers. They are made that way. When right conditions are put in place, they can wipe out the entire fields like the merciless army worms. Completely leaving holes in the grounds these infestor will, leaving our land devoid of minerals and precious metals. Like pathogens, they fight back when you want to treat them. They mutate and transform. It all began those decisive moments when our people loved brown envelops. We ask you not to curve but the pressure is huge. The CHOICE you make now will help shape the next trajectory. Trade carefully.

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  2. Shut the mines. Leave minerals in the ground until future generations develop better management systems for minerals management. Meantime, legalize it. Grow the economy. Create green well paying jobs. Heal the Nation. End poverty. That is Sinkamba sustainble strategy for National Development.

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  3. If the tax is in form of percentage it follows that the share will depend on total money made. If I ask for 2% of 50 my share will be 4 and 25 it will be 2. Low price of copper is not an issue here. By the way have these people that colossal figure which they ZRA?

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  4. First Quantum please feel free to leave Zambia and don’t let the door hit you where the Lord split ya!
    The minerals can be left on the ground for future generations.We all know copper will be on even greater demand with electric cars in the future.

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    • I like your thinking. What happens to the workers who will loose jobs? Have you thought about it? And where is the government going to find replacement of the taxes it has been collecting from mines? I wonder if the government will be able to collect enough taxes from ZAMTEL, ZESCO, ZRL and TAZARA to meet it’s budget. If ZCCM IH is able to run the mines successful, let the government re-buy the mines so that the government can test good or bad waters. Then thereafter the government will know how tax the mines in future.

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  5. If the mines slow down or reduce production the dollar will skyrocket to K20 to 1Us $. The mines are the largest contributions to forex and the more the forex they bring in the lower the dollar. It’s the factor of supply and demand.

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    • What type of unpatriotic people are some of you guys? This is not political. This is for Zambians and Africans, no more letting investors to steal our resources indiscriminately. Stand up for yourself for once.

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  6. This would have been avoided had Hakainde Hichilema and his other cronies had not sold our mines to crooks and scoundrels. Zambia and Africa, it is time to fight for what is rightfully ours, these so called parasitic investors have stolen from Africa for the last time. We need to stand as one, Zambia and Africa first. May Jesus bless us all.

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    • Our government sold the mines. Do not mention innocent people. You have to blame the government and the officers who made that decision to sell the mines. You know some of the officers who made the decision. This is why it can take a long time to advance and develop if you’re scared to mention the right people. I cannot sink so low to say that HH sold the mines, despite not belonging to his party. It is not even right before God and man. If this is the kind of National Prayer we have, God will not bless us. God does not delight in accusing innocent people.

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  7. Policy consistency is necessary you dont change tax policy every time you wake-up as if you re changing a pair of …….. We need to come up with policy that can make your business predictable

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  8. Really laughable …an expatriate gets more than what 5 miners on the ground gets, s/he is called an expert because he does a skilled job unless they are not really skilled. So if you are getting rid off people because of tax then you are not really in there for business…if I was govt I would sit this one out like you do with your child in the supermarket crying for sweets/ toys which you cannot afford. Why we never hear of these games in Australia or Chile…the miners will soon change their tune to 3000 workers by 2021 knowing full well that it is election year!!

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    • Those countries don’t come with a redesigned mining tax system every 6 months… otherwise they would be failed states

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  9. Supposedly, they will still be able to produce to the current levels with 2,500 less work force.

    Good luck, or stop taking us for a ride. Yeah?

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  10. Government should not back down, instead they should hit back and say which ever mine will reduce labor force will have to pay 10 times the current approved tax percentages. I would say let’s die a little, if it means letting those investors leave, let it be. We are being very stupid to allow this nonsense year in and year out. When cu prices tumble same story workers must be left in the cold, ba Sata used to say umulembwe wacipuba upwila muli ‘tumfwe’. Our cu will eventually be depleted without us the onwners having realised any tangible benefits out of it.

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  11. Nothing to be excited about this. I yell you its maningi trouble, especially at the thought that we may not even have plan “b” in place

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  12. FQM has been a good company it has contributed to the small development in NWP it is just that the business environment now hzs becone bad even for ordinary zambians…

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  13. As people of NWP we will always support FQM and Barrick because whether they pay huge tax, all the money is developing other provinces and very little or nothing is being ploughed back in NWP

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  14. The problem with Zambian leaders is that they have the courage of Impemfu (Cochroaches)! You do dangerous things without thinking things through! This standoff with the mines will backfire and hurt our economy badly! Trouble is our current government has not been truthful with the citizens and the private sector! We have had too many statutory instruments that have been introduced and only reversed after damaging our Kwacha! PF found the Dollar to Kwacha exchange rate at K4.50 to a Dollar and now it’s K12. What an achievement within a short time of 7 years of PF mambo jumble. Can the government call an urgent meeting with the Chamber of Mines and ZICA and avert a crisis! This Cho – Chise kind of standoff will only kick our economy in the nuts!

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