Glencore’s Mopani Says Zambia Owes $200 Million in Tax Refunds

Glencore Plc’s Zambian unit, Mopani Copper Mines Plc, is owed about $200 million in value-added tax refunds by the southern African nation’s revenue service, a company spokesman said in an e-mail today.

The Zambia Revenue Authority has withheld tax refunds of more than $600 million over the past year from companies that failed to comply with a rule requiring them to supply import documents from the country their exports end up in. The mines say they can’t provide the papers because they sell to traders and don’t know the final destination of the metal.

The withheld repayments have led to mining companies canceling projects and slowing production in Africa’s biggest copper producer after the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Chamber of Mines of Zambia said yesterday. It will also lead to job losses in the medium to long term, the industry group said.

Mopani, a unit of the world’s third-largest miner by market value, is undertaking a $323 million investment at its Nkana mine near the Zambian city of Kitwe. The unit, which has over 20,000 employees in Zambia, has invested more than $2 billion over the past 14 years.

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