Zambia Proposes Back-Dating New Copper Royalty System to April 1

  • Levies to range from 4% to 6% depending on copper prices
  • Parliament has a month to approve the law before dissolution

Zambia’s latest proposed mineral royalty regime, where the level charged is linked to the copper price, would be effective from the start of this month, the draft legislation shows.

Royalties in Africa’s second-biggest copper producer will be four percent when the metal’s price is below $4,500 a metric ton and five percent when it’s above that, but less than $6,000. When copper trades higher than that, the charges will be 6 percent. That’s less than the 6 percent royalty for underground operations and 9 percent for open pit mines that came into effect in July.

The bill, posted on the parliamentary website, was presented to lawmakers for approval Wednesday. Members will have little time to approve the law before parliament’s May 13 dissolution, as required by the constitution in the lead up to general elections scheduled for August.

“We’ve been looking forward to this legislation for some time,” Nathan Chishimba, president at the Zambia Chamber of Mines, said by phone. “Everybody knows the pressure the mining industry is under.”

The new mine-tax legislation represents the third change since the start of last year. Glencore Plc, Barrick Gold Corp. and First Quantum Minerals Ltd. are among companies with operations in the country.

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