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Zambia’s Sata Orders Export Tax on Unprocessed Metals Reinstated

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 to repeal the law that removed the tax, Fredson Yamba, the treasury secretary, said today by mobile phone from Lusaka, the capital. The law had abolished the tax for about a year.

The reinstatement will be effective “when the finance minister signs it,” Yamba said.

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. and Barrick Gold Corp. 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.

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