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LONDON, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Canada-listed miner First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) expects Zambia will agree to a compromise on its new mining tax regime in coming months.

“We expect to reach a result that everybody is quite happy with,” President Clive Newall told a mining conference sponsored by RBC Capital Markets.

Mining firms in Zambia have strongly opposed a new 25 percent windfall tax plus higher royalty and corporate taxes, intorduced in April.

The recent death of Zambia’s president, which will require a new election, is expected to delay slightly a new tax agreement, he added.

An election is expected before the end of the year.

In the meantime, the Zambian tax authorities have suspended collecting the new higher taxes.

First Quantum owns the Kansanshi copper mine and Bwana Mkubwa processing plant in Zambia.

The company is looking for more takeover possibilities after the global credit crunch caused financing problems for smaller competitors.

“The credit crisis has opened up a lot of opportunities, probably more than I can remember in my career,” Newall said.

First Quantum, which recently launched its Frontier mine in Congo, said the government there has a renewed commitment to quickly resolving a review of mining licences, which has dragged on for 18 months.

“Now there is serious activity. . . it should be completed in the next couple of months.”

The firm was in the midst of negotiations, but Newall declined to give details.

(Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by Victoria Bryan)  

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