Barrick Reverses Decision to Halt Zambia Mine After Tax Changes

Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s biggest producer of the metal, called off plans to halt operations at its Lumwana copper mine in Zambia after the government softened a royalty-based tax system.

“While Lumwana still faces challenges, in light of the government’s recent announcement we intend to continue operations at this time,” Kelvin Dushnisky, co-president at the Toronto-based company, said in reply to e-mailed questions.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu’s Cabinet on April 20 approved a 30 percent profit tax and 9 percent royalty due to start on July 1. While that’s higher than the 6 percent sales levy of last year, it’s a better outcome than royalties of 8 percent for underground mines and 20 percent for open-pit operations the government began charging in January.

“We appreciate the leadership and engagement of President Lungu and the Government of Zambia on this matter,” Dushnisky said.

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