Zambia’s 2021 copper production falls by 4.5%

LUSAKA, March 22 (Reuters) – Copper production in Zambia dropped to 800,696 tonnes last year from 837,996 tonnes the year before, data obtained from the nation’s statistics agency showed on Tuesday.

Zambia’s cobalt production also dropped to 247 tonnes last year from 316 tonnes a year earlier, according to the Zambia Statistics Agency (ZAMSTATS).

The Zambia Chamber of Mines said the reduced output was mainly due to operational challenges arising from a lack of recapitalisation due to an unattractive mining tax regime.

“It is only now that we are seeing mining companies recapitalising after mineral royalty was made a deductible expense,” chamber chief executive Sokwani Chilembo told Reuters.

Mining companies operating in Zambia had long complained about what they called “double taxation”, with mineral royalty payments not treated as a deductible expense when calculating corporate income tax since 2019.