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TAX NEWS - JUNE 2010

Australia's planned super profits tax and Canada's C-300 Bill could see increased capital flows to Africa

by Jonathan Faurie, 04 June 2021 -- The proposed super profits tax in Australia and the C-300 Bill, which is currently under discussion in Canada, could be advantageous for the African mining landscape, says market analyst firm 
BDO.

The company reports that the envisaged flight of capital from Australia since the 
government announced its intention to 
impose a 40% super profits tax, the world's heaviest tax on resource companies, as well as the collapse of resource stocks on the Australian bourse and the increase in the cost of equity capital for mining in that country, has set the scene for an outflow of mining 
investment.

Similarly, in Canada, mining companies are looking elsewhere to markets that may have previously been considered as carrying greater political risk, but where the start-up capital for projects would be sustainable for prolonged growth.


Put simply, the C-300 Bill proposes to give the Canadian government authority to 
investigate complaints about the behaviour of resources companies based in the country 
operating abroad and withhold public money from companies found to have breached any laws.

Many of these companies have identified the potential that Africa has to offer.


BDO director Kemp Munnik reports that, since the announcement of the super profits tax, a significant number of companies have made moves to reduce scale in Australia. 
These include Xstrata, Santos, Cape Lambert and Peabody. 
This future outflow is likely to challenge government's stated intention to raise $3-billion in its first year of the super tax.


The African operation of BDO has already seen increased appetite for mining and 
exploration in Africa with companies putting out feelers. 
Companies have noted interest in three commodity-rich countries, namely Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique, which offer 
attractive tax rates.

"All three of these countries have attractive tax royalties payable on minerals. Zambia's royalties range between 2% and 10%, depending on the mineral, Botswana's between 3% and 10% and Mozambique's between 3% and 10%," says Munnik.

He adds that this would be particularly 
attractive to the major mining companies, such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. 
Under the new Australian super tax, BHP would be expected to fork out 57% in royalties.


In addition to the royalties, the investment climate in Africa is conducive to high 
profits.

"Zambia offers a variable tax rate of 
between 15% and 35% and has no exchange controls, which allows companies to expatriate funds easily. 
"Botswana has a tax rate of 25% and Mozam-
bique offers a ten-year discount on its tax rate of 35% and offers other exemptions, including sales tax and duties on mineral exports," says Munnik.

In addition, despite ongoing challenges in Zimbabwe, which has a tax rate of 15%, the mining sector has overtaken agriculture as the main foreign currency earner and is attracting major investment, particularly in platinum and gold.
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