The Ferdi provides the first legal and tax database that lists the tax regime applicable to industrial gold mines in 21 African producing countries since the 1980s and a simulation tool for sharing the mineral resource rent between State and investors.
The tools provided make it possible to: 1) understand the characteristics of the mining taxation, 2) know the evolution of the mining taxation, 3) compare the mining taxation between African countries, 4) compare mining taxation between projects of the same country, 5) assess the sharing of the mineral resource rent between State and investors.
Improving the mobilisation of domestic resources is a hight priority for African countries. The heavy dependence of these countries on the extractives industries implies understanding the mechanisms and consequences of the mining tax Regim applied in Africa on the development of the extractive industry as well as the public revenu collection.
Although several international institutions, non-governmental organisations and universities publish on this issue, data on mining tax Regim in Africa remains difficult to access. Thus, improving the transparency of information in the African mining sector has become a priority for the international community.
The database provided has three major innovations:
The database now concerns 14 French-speaking countries and 7 English-speaking countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
The database currently focuses on gold, that is exploited in 34 of the 54 African countries, making it the second larger producer in the world.
The information provided here is intended for researchers, States and public administrations, international institutions and all national and international stakeholders. The objective is to contribute to the improvement of public policies and the information of companies, with a goal of international development.
Full access to the legal and tax data of the website requires a subscription. The subscription is free for individuals or institutions that commit to make no commercial use. On the other hand, financial participation is requested from individuals or companies wishing to use the data for commercial purposes.
States have to arbitrate between the will to attract foreign investors and the need to increase public revenues. Applied to the economic data of a representative mine and associated with a cash flow model, this database offers the means for researchers and analysts to summarize the tax burden that should apply to mining companies in the African countries according to the legislation. The indicator calculated is the average effective tax rate (AETR), that represents the share of the mineral resource rent captured by the State on a mining project.
A very high AETR, near 100% or higher, should not be too strictly interpreted. It does not mean that the State manages to collect all of the rent; rather it means that the tax burden makes the mine economically unviable. This illustrates the significant impact of the tax system and the gold price on the profitability of a mining project.
The unprecedented historical depth of this database makes it possible to follow the evolution of the average effective tax rates since the 1990s in 21 African countries. This history shows the impact of the successive tax reforms decided by African States (rates, bases, calculation rules) to try to adapt to a context of instability of world prices.
Updated tax data for 2017 and 2018 are now available for South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
In South Africa, withholding tax on dividends has increased from 15% to 20% (Act No. 17 of 2017) and the VAT rate has been increased from 14% to 15% (Act No. 21 of 2018). In Tanzania, the Mining Act has been revised (Act No. 7 of 2017). Mining royalty rates have been increased. The free equity for the State is now set at 16%. The fixed fees and the surface fees were also amended (Government Notice No. 1 of 2018). In Zimbabwe, mining taxation has not changed (Act No. 2 of 2017 and Act No. 1 of 2018).
The Tanzanian Mining Act was revised, mainly in 2017 (Act No. 7 of 2017). Mining royalty rates have been increased from 4% to 6% for gold. In addition, the free equity for the State in the capital of the mining company, the rate of which had hitherto been negotiated between the parties, is now set at 16%. Finally, the amount of fixed fees and surface fees were reduced in 2018 (Government Notice No. 1 of 2018). These new measures concerning the mining royalty and the State equity significantly increase the tax burden applicable to gold mining companies. For a representative medium grade mine (3g/t) and a gold price of $1250/oz, the average effective tax rate (AETR) increases from 41% to 53%.
Kenya adopted a new Mining Act in 2016 (Act No. 12 of 2016), supplemented by 14 regulations in 2017. However, there is only one important change to note because most of the mining tax provisions are located in the Income Tax Act. The State now requires a free participation of 10% in the capital of industrial mining companies. This measure therefore increases the tax burden applicable to gold mining companies. For a representative medium grade mine (3g/t) and a gold price of $1250/oz, the average effective tax rate (AETR) increases from 41% to 48%.