Barrick Gold yet to feel the heat in Zambian tax crackdown

Chairman John Thornton at the 2015 shareholders meeting. (Image: Screenshot from Barrick video | YouTube.)

For now at least, Barrick Gold Corp. seems to have escaped a tax crackdown in Zambia that has embroiled fellow Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

That should be welcome news for a company whose news flow has been punctuated with controversy from Tanzania to Argentina and Chile.

On Tuesday, First Quantum revealed that the Zambian tax agency reassessed its equipment imports over six years, demanding almost $8 billion in interest, penalties, and reassessment charges. Africa’s second-largest copper producer is planning to audit all mining companies operating in Zambia, which include units of Glencore Plc and Vedanta Resources Plc, as well as Barrick.

The Toronto-based company, which operates the Lumwana mine, hasn’t received any notifications from the tax authority regarding an audit or tax reassessment, spokesman Andy Lloyd said by email. “In Zambia, as in every country where we operate, our focus is on building long-term partnerships with our host governments and communities, based on transparency and mutual respect,” he added.

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