Joint audit clears way for DRC to reimburse VAT payments to miners says Govt.

THE Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) would reimburse mining companies value added tax (VAT) payments, said Reuters citing Budget Minister, Jean-Baudouin Mayo.

Africa’s top copper producer has suspended the VAT on mining imports since July 2016 to help operators during a commodity price downturn, and to pay down hundreds of millions of dollars in VAT reimbursements owed to the companies, said Reuters.

In August, the cash-strapped government said it was suspending the tax exemption in an effort to bolster government coffers dented by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The government is committed to refunding VAT credits to miners after a joint audit of the actual amount of VAT stock to be refunded,” Mayo said.

It is not clear how much the government currently owes companies operating in the DRC which include Glencore, China Molybdenum and Barrick. The debt stood at about $700 million in 2016, said Reuters.

Mark Bristow, CEO of Barrick, said in August the central African country has approved the payment of about $500m in joint venture cash to Barrick Gold and its partner, AngloGold Ashanti, earned from the central African country’s Kibali gold mine.

“It’s just the paper work,” said Bristow.

“Discussions with the government is going extremely well. We have approval from the central bank to repatriate the money. We are also working with the Parliament to tidy up the legislation,” said Bristow today.

“There is no question it [the money] belongs to Barrick and, of course, AngloGold,” he said.

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