Zambian President Reinstates Export Levy on Unprocessed Metals

Zambia, Africa’s biggest copper producer, will restore a 10 percent export tax for unprocessed metals less than a month after the government removed the levy.

President Michael Sata ordered the government yesterday to repeal the law that removed the tax in comments broadcast on state-owned ZNBC. Treasury Secretary Fredson Yamba confirmed the decision early by phone.

“In 49 years of independence, you are exporting soil,” Sata said. “If not for the forefathers who died on the mines in the 1943 mines strikes, you would not be where you are today.”

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda halted export taxes on Oct. 4 for unprocessed metals including copper, nickel, zinc, lead, silver and uranium, after mining companies complained Zambia lacked smelting capacity. African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM) and Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX) have operations in the country.

The Chamber of Mines of Zambia is “extremely concerned” about recent policies targeting the industry, President Emmanuel Mutati said in an e-mailed statement on Oct. 23.

“If not urgently addressed, the combined effect of the measures threatens the viability of the mining sector and makes it extremely vulnerable to collapse in the current volatile commodity cycle,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Hill in Lusaka at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at

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