Barrick CEO on Zambia tax dispute: Threats don’t solve problems (BNN Bloomberg – January 25, 2019)

Barrick Gold Corp.’s new chief executive officer, Mark Bristow, said his company is seeking solutions to a dispute over mining taxes in Zambia.

“We’re engaged with the government in a constructive way,” he told reporters at a press conference in the Ivory Coast’s economic capital, Abidjan. “We don’t believe that threatening one’s partner is a constructive way to go about solving problems.”

Mining companies in Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, have warned that the tax hikes will harm the industry and some producers have said they’ll curtail operations as a result of the changes. First Quantum Minerals Ltd. in December said it would cut 2,500 jobs in the country, before backtracking this week on the plan.

Barrick operates the Lumwana copper mine in Zambia and said earlier this week it was mindful the government is under pressure to boost revenue. However, “its proposed tax changes would put Lumwana in a challenging situation.” The company has made proposals to the government about a “partnership approach” to improve the state’s share in Lumwana’s economics without overburdening the mine.

Here’s other highlights from Bristow’s briefing:

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