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By Ron Derby

(Bloomberg) — Zambia, Africa’s largest producer of copper, said state mining revenue is declining and more than 5,000 jobs have been lost from plunging prices for the metal.

“The only revenue is mineral royalty from these companies and these are affected by the collapse of metal prices,” said Maxwell Mwale, minister of mines and minerals development, in an interview in Livingstone. The state isn’t getting any corporate taxes from mining businesses, which are losing money, he said.

Zambia has also removed a one-off tax on mining companies in its 2009 budget, reduced duty on heavy fuel oils and customs tariffs on copper powder, flakes and blisters, Mwale said.

Copper prices should recover to $4,000 a metric ton in the third quarter, he said, compared with a closing price of $3,540 yesterday on the London Metal Exchange.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ron Derby in Livingstone, Zambia at rderby1@bloomberg.net

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