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EMR Capital seeks concessions to develop $1 bln Zambia copper mine

LUSAKA, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Lubambe Copper Mine, majority-owned by Australia's EMR Capital IPO-EMR.AX, is talking to the Zambian government to seek concessions, including a tax break, to develop a new $1 billion copper mine, the company said on Friday.

Lubambe has completed a concept study on the extension project that would produce up to 160,000 tonnes of copper annually with a mine life of more than 30 years, it said in a statement.

The Zambia Chamber of Mines said on Monday Zambia should treat mineral royalty payments as a deductible expense to avoid double taxation and attract investment.

The chamber cited the $1 billion Lubambe Mine expansion and another $1 billion expansion by First Qauntum Minerals as projects that had been delayed by an unfavorable tax regime.

Lubambe has actively engaged with all relevant levels of the Zambian government, the company said, and noted a number of approvals were required for a project of this scale to progress, including on tax-related matters.

“The concessions needed are not material compared to the benefits to Zambia. Importantly the concessions are not different to what is available in other copper mining countries,” it said.

The company said benefits for Zambia over a long period would include jobs, supply opportunities, royalties and taxes.

It said it was happy with the high-level engagement it had with the government and its willingness to work with the company. (Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Barbara Lewis)

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