Taxation of mining industries

Understanding the sharing of the mineral resource rent between States and investors


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.

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Video presentation


This site has been developed by the Ferdi from a database built in partnership with the ICTD and the Cerdi.
Picture by Photo JB Dodane

Accessing an innovative database

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:

  • An inventory of the 12 main taxes and duties (rates, bases, exemptions) that are due during the prospecting and mining phases of a mining project;
  • An unprecedented historical depth;
  • The link between each piece of tax information and its legal source.

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.

Comparing the share of the mineral resource rent that goes to the State

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.

Studying the evolution of the share of the mineral resource rent that goes to the State

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.


Medias et news

Update 2017 and 2018: Ghana, Mali and Niger


Updated tax data for 2017 and 2018 are now available for Ghana, Mali and Niger.
In Ghana, the VAT rate was reduced from 15% to 12.5% in 2018 (Act 970). However, this reduction in the nominal rate hides an increase in the effective rate from 17.5% to 18.125%, including 5 "non-deductible" points. In Mali, the special tax rates on certain products (ISCP) were revised in 2018 (Decree No. 2018-0323/P-RM of 30 March 2018) without however changing the 5% rate applicable to gold bullion. In Niger, fixed fees were also revised in 2017 (Act No. 2016-43 of 6 December 2016).

Ghanaian value added tax: decrease in the nominal rate but increase in the effective rate?


In Ghana, the VAT rate was reduced from 15% to 12.5% in 2018 (Act 970). However, this reduction in the nominal rate hides an increase in the effective rate from 17.5% to 18.125%, including 5 "non-deductible" points.
Indeed, the National Health Insurance Levy of 2.5% and the Education Trust Fund Levy of 2.5% are excluded from the VAT imputation mechanism. As the new VAT rate of 12.5% is applied after these two levies, goods and services are now taxed at 18.125%: [1 + (2.5% + 2.5%)] x [1 + 12.5%] = [1 + 18.125%].

WAEMU Community Mining Code: adoption of the draft revision


Meeting in Ouagadougou on 29 June 2019, the Ministers in charge of Mines of the member countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) approved the draft revision of the Community Mining Code. This was adopted in 2003 (Regulation No. 18/2003/CM/UEMOA of 22 December 2003) as part of the common mining policy (Additional Act No. 01/2000 of 14 December 2000).

The sharing of mineral resource rent and progressivity of tax regimes in the mining sector: an analysis of 21 African gold producing countries

Working paper

Tax convergence in the mining sector of WAEMU countries

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