We Are Not Glencore, Says Mopani
By NANCY MWAPE
MOPANI Copper Mine has distanced itself from Glencore International Plc, its mother company, which has in the past come under severe international media glare for alleged “tax irregularities”.
The company’s chairman Emmanuel Mutati said Mopani’s dealing with the Swiss company is simply at “arm’s length”.
Zambian miners walk out of a lift at Konkola Copper mine in Chililabombwe, Zambia.
He said: “The relationship between Glencore and Mopani is clean and at arm’s length, auditable, anyone can come through and audit that relationship.”
Mr Mutati said: “We sell them copper and they pay us the full value, why would there be a problem? We are happy, we get the value we are looking for.”
Mr Mutati said this in a special interview with the Zambia Daily Mail.
In February 2011, a Grant Thornton and Econ Prory audit report sanctioned by the government revealed alleged “irregularities” and “inconsistencies” in production and revenue figures that Mopani submits to Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) for tax administration, most of which is hinged on its links to Glencore.
The report stated that the taxes being paid by mining firms in the country were not consistent with production volumes and the revenues from copper sales.
Mr Mutati said Mopani’s relationship with Glencore is at “arm’s length,” adding that copper is sold to the parent company on a strictly business deal with strict reference to the London Metal Exchange prevailing price.
“Ten days later, the money is paid to in a Standard Chartered Bank, Kitwe, in dollar by Glencore. We don’t have a foreign account at all,” he said.
Mr Mutati said there is an independent check by ZRA of the quantity sold and the revenue expected.
He said ZRA makes the accumulation and is able to tell the amount of revenue expected from Mopani at the end of the month.
He said the revenue authority can also counter-check the price by dividing the weight into value and check the London
Metal Exchange for the average price of copper for that particular month.
“ZRA are on site in Mufulira all the time, no truck can leave the plant without the certificate,” he said.
In the past, Finance Deputy Minister Miles Sampa has placed multi-national companies on the spot for overstating their costs and understating their profits, a process that has bled Zambia for up to US$2 billion annually, according to reports.
Mr Sampa has never specified any company.