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 22 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, 7 English-speaking countries and 1 portuguese-speaking country: Angola, 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.

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Update 2019 : Gabon, Madagascar and Senegal


Updated tax data for 2019 are now available for Gabon, Madagascar and Senegal.
In Gabon, a new mining act came into force in 2019 (Act No. 037/2018 of 11 June 2019). However, it has only slightly changed the tax system applicable to holders of large-scale mining licenses. Taxation in Madagascar has not changed (Ordinance No. 2018-001 of 26 December 2018). In Senegal, mining taxation has also not been amended (Act No. 2018-029 of 19 December 2018).

New Gabonese Mining Act: what changes?


Gabon adopted a new mining act in 2019 (Act No. 037/2018 of 11 June 2019). However, the tax system applicable to holders of large-scale mining licenses has changed very little. The mining royalty rate remains fixed in the mining agreement. For precious substances, this rate must always be between 5% and 8%. The corporate income tax rate indicated in the mining act corresponds to the standard rate of 30%. However, the finance act, 2019, reiterates the higher rate of 35% for the mining sector. These measures therefore do not change 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) remains fixed at 46%.

Addition of a new country: Angola


The legal and tax database is expanding to its first Portuguese-speaking country: Angola.
In Angola, the Mining Act in force dates from 2011 (Law No. 31/11 of 23 September 2011). Gold is considered a strategic mineral. The mining royalty rate for this precious metal is 5%. The corporate income tax rate, set at 30% for other companies, is reduced to 25% for mining companies. From the Angolan tax system, it is possible to estimate the overall tax burden on a mining company. For a representative mine with an average grade (3g/t) and a gold price set at $1250/oz, the average effective tax rate (AETR) calculated is 58%.

Mining taxation in Africa: what recent evolution in 2018?

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Mining taxation in Africa: what recent evolution in 2018?

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