Zambia royalty hike to force mine closures - chamber

Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:33am EST
 
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LUSAKA Dec 19 (Reuters) - Zambia's decision to hike royalty rates on open pit mining from 6 percent to 20 percent will lead to shaft closures and 12,000 job losses, the chamber of mines said on Friday.

"The imminent implementation of the 2015 budget measures may make a number of other operations economically unviable, potentially leading to more mine closures," said the chamber, which represents mining companies operating in Zambia.

Barrick Gold Corp. said on Thursday it would suspend operations at its Lumwana Copper Mine after royalty increases were passed into law in the 2015 budget. Lumwana produced around 118,000 tonnes of copper in 2013.

(Editing by David Evans)