Vedanta Resources Come Under Scrutiny of Zambian Tax Authority
Controversial comments made by the majority owner of a Zambian copper mine about its profitability have led to a formal investigation of its tax affairs by the government.
Mumbai-based Anil Agarwal, the majority owner of Vendanta Resources, which owns the Konkola Copper Mines, in Zambia, was recently caught out on a video boasting that Vedanta had made between $500 million and $1 billion every year for nearly a decade from the Zambian interests.
His comments have kicked up a storm of protest in Zambia after the damning video was posted on YouTube (see video below) and his statement appeared to be at odds with what has previously been reported about its financials.
Now the Zambian Revenue Authority has announced it is to undertake a forensic audit of tax affairs of the mining company’s Zambian operations.
Vedanta has refuted the Agarwal’s comments saying they had been taken out of context and also says it welcomes scrutiny by the tax auditors and has always been compliant with the country’s tax laws.
The Zambian operations comprise mines at Konkola, Nchanga and Nampundwe. At Konkola, there is the flagship Konkola Deep Mining Project (KDMP) which provides access to one of the largest high-grade ore-bodies in the world, the Konkola underground mine, with a grade of 3.55 percent and around 24+ years of mine life.
It also owns a tailings leach plant and smelter at Nchanga and a refinery at Nkana. The company’s website reports that these operations delivered 160,000 tonnes of integrated copper production in the financial year 2013 and 216,000 tonnes of total finished copper production.
BHP, Rio Tinto & Vale launch Charge On Innovation Challenge
Mining giants BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto have launched the 'Charge On' Innovation Challenge to solve one of the biggest challenges the industry faces today - decarbonising mining operations.
'Charge On' Innovation Challenge
In partnership with Austmine, Australia's leading mining equipment, technology and services industry association, founding patrons BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto have launched the competition to encourage technology innovators to develop new concepts for large-scale haul truck electrification systems. The main goal is cutting emissions from surface mining operations.
“The mining industry needs to be at the forefront of tackling the climate challenge. The Charge On Innovation Challenge is a great example of the current collaborative work being done by the mining industry and mobile equipment manufacturers to decarbonise mining fleets,” the trio said in a media statement.
“In addition to providing a zero-carbon energy source, the conversion of mobile mining equipment to battery-electric can potentially unlock value, as electric motors have fewer moving parts when compared to standard equipment.”
A number of non-traditional mining sector vendors are actively developing technologies that can assist in mine electrification. By submitting a Challenge to the market, the Patrons of Charge On expect to:
- Demonstrate there is an emerging market for charging solutions in mining
- Accelerate commercialization of solutions
- Indicate to suppliers, the mining industry seeks interoperable solutions
- Maintain multiple actors and competition in the supply chain
- Integrate innovations from other sectors into the mining sector
"We expect some solutions identified in the Challenge could provide propulsion to existing diesel-electric trucks. This may present a pathway to early implementation for dynamic charging solutions," the trio said.
Found patrons BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto are pledging their commitment to fighting climate change:
"The mining industry has an important role to reduce emissions and do our part to achieve the Paris Agreement goals to limit the impacts of climate change."
The Charge On Innovation Challenge asks vendors to present interoperable solutions that can safely deliver electricity to large battery-electric off-road haul trucks in a way that maintains or improves current productivity levels. Specifically, mechanisms capable of delivering in the order of 400kWh of electricity to each truck within a haul cycle (ie load, travel, dump, return, queue). The delivered electricity is to charge a battery, and if applicable directly propel the truck.
Austmine CEO Christine Gibbs Stewart commented: “We expect the Challenge will attract companies from a broad range of sectors including mining, automotive, aerospace, agriculture, and defence to deliver selected charging concepts to create a standard product that can interface with all trucks."
More information about the challenge will be released on May 18.
The competition echoes growing efforts being made across the industry to tackle emmissions and promote electrification. In march this year, the Electric Mine Consortium was launched. It's founding members include Gold Fields, Dassualt Systemes and Sandvik who pledged their commitment to decarbonising mining operations.