FQM withholds US$1.5bn for expansion projects in Zambia

KANSANSHI Mines, which is owned by First Quantum Mines Limited (FQM), has withheld more than US$1.5 billion meant for expansion projects in Solwezi.

FQM chief operations officer Mathew Pascall said the mining giant was holding on to the investment owing to delays by Government to remit value added tax (VAT) refunds owed to the mine.

He said Kansanshi Mine was owed more than US$230 million in VAT refunds by Government.

He said if the money was released, it could have been used to undertake expansion projects at the mines.

Mr Pascall was speaking in Solwezi when Labour and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda visited the plant on Tuesday.

And Mr Shamenda has urged the mining firms to dialogue with Government over the new taxation measures.

Mr Pascall urged Government to urgently address the issue surrounding the VAT refunds owed to mining houses.

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