Tax authorities in the eastern North Kivu province of Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa’s top tin producer, are to meet today to resolve a tin blockage caused by tax increases, Bloomberg reports. Tin traders last week stopped buying tin ore from the remote Walikale region after taxes rose to more than $600 to fly 1.8 tonnes of ore to the provincial capital Goma. Walikale is the location of the Bisie mine, by far the largest in the country.
Four different taxation authorities put levies up from $450 per shipment over the last three months, Provincial Mines Minister Juvenal Ndabereye said today in a phone interview from Goma. “We’ll see how we can resolve this issue so that the traders can work and the state can get the money it needs,” Ndabereye said.
The cessation of purchased by traders was announced by John Kanyoni, the president of the Association of Metals Exporters of North Kivu on Friday. “This is exaggerated,” Kanyoni said “If they increase the taxes they have to speak to the players in the market. None of us knew what was happening.” The trade in tin ore from DRC was further unsettled on Friday by the announcement that Thaisarco, one of the major smelter destinations for this material, was suspending purchases from the country.