ZRA AWAITS FQM RESPONSE OVER K76.5BN CLAIM

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By BUSINESS REPORTER

THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is still waiting for a response from First Quantum Minerals (FQM) over the K76.5 billion assessment of duties regarding the import of capital items, authority Corporate Communications Manager Topsy Sikalinda has said.

The matter also includes consumables and spare parts for use at FQM`s Sentinel Mine from January 2013 to December 2017.

Mr Sikalinda said in an interview that all issues FQM had raised had been communicated and that the authority was therefore waiting for a response on all the audits and Value Added Tax assessments.

“ZRA is not targeting any mine in particular. We have a written agreement with FQM to handle their tax matters confidentially. By the way, our audits are routine and normal and affects all the players in the mining sector.  We are not targeting any particular mine,” Mr Sikalinda said.

FQM however in its March quarter results released on April 27 refuted the $150m ZRA assessment claim on duties which has also attracted a $6bn in interest and $2bn in penalties.

The company chairman and chief executive officer Phillip Pascall said his company was presently working with an external international accounting firm and shipping agent to provide ZRA all the relevant documentation in its rebuttal of the assessment.

Mr Pascall said a process for provision of all relevant documentation had already been agreed between the FQM and the ZRA.

“The company unequivocally refutes the assessment and is committed to transparency and continued engagement with ZRA on the issue,” he said.

The statement however said that the company had finalized reported additional precious metals stream agreement with the subsidiary of Franco-Nevada from which proceeds of US$356 million were received.

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