(By Ernest Chanda in Kalumbila)
BARRICK Gold Corporation country director Nathan Chishimba has ruled out any confrontational approach with the government over the proposed sales tax which takes effect on July 1 this year.
Last year, government, through finance minister Margaret Mwanakatwe, abolished the value added tax and replaced it with sales tax in the 2019 budget, which was to take effect on April 1.
Responding to journalists during a quarterly briefing at Lumwana Mining Company in Kalumbila yesterday, Chishimba lamented that the proposed tax would impact negatively the operations of the mine.
“We cannot pretend that Lumwana is comfortable with the 2019 budget proposal. However, we can’t complain because we have already engaged government on this issue, and we have submitted our financial model to the government,” he said.
“A mine that is processing low grade copper should not incur the same operational costs as those with high grade copper. We will talk with them and we have hope that they will listen.”
Asked if Lumwana management preferred a specific individual sales tax threshold, Chishimba responded: “No, we don’t agree to individual tax regimes for mines. We also don’t desire a package for Lumwana, but what we are saying is that policies must be well thought out. Our plea to the government is that they should help us stay in business. For us it’s a matter of life and death. It’s not a threat, but it’s a reality that those taxes will impact on us negatively.”/