Zambia scrambling to up copper profits
Zambia’s new president Edgar Lungu re-appointed former mines minister Christopher Yaluma as the government tries to reach an agreement with mining companies over new royalties and VAT refunds, Reuters reported. The country, a major copper producer, lifted royalties on open-pit mines to 20% from 6% in January, despite copper trading at its lowest levels in more than five years. The Chamber of Mines of Zambia previously warned that the hikes could lead to shaft closures and cost 12 000 jobs. The dispute around VAT involves refunds of $600m (R7bn) the industry says is being withheld by the government.