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Zambia says owes major mining firms $215 million in tax refunds

LUSAKA, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Zambia owed major mining companies 2.8 billion kwacha ($215 million) in tax refunds as at June 30, 2019, Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu said on Thursday, the latest development in a long-running dispute with the miners.

In December, the Zambian government withheld payment, saying the correct documentation had not been provided.

The government has verified that it owed the companies 2.834 billion kwacha in Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds although the mining firms were claiming an additional 4.955 billion kwacha without providing evidence, Ng’andu said.

He was responding to a question in parliament on the unpaid tax refunds to local mining firms majority owned by Glencore , Vedanta Resources, First Quantum Minerals and Barrick Gold.

Ng’andu said the government planned to meet the affected mining companies and agree how the outstanding refunds would be paid.

$1 = 13.1500 Zambian kwacha Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise