(REUTERS) -- Zambia, which said last month its 2012 budget would hike mineral royalties, could cut back those rates if commodity prices collapse next year, the mines minister in Africa's top copper producer said on Friday.
For now (the royalties) will stay, but if it becomes a crisis, if prices crash, we might have to review the regime... not in 2012 but for 2013, in the next budget, Wylbur Simuusa told Reuters on the sidelines of a London conference.
Last month, Zambia said it planned to double royalties on copper miners to bring in badly needed revenue, a move miners said could lead to scaling back operations.
The World Bank has said that the policy is unlikely to cripple the industry at current prices but could cause problems if copper prices fall.
Foreign mining companies operating in Zambia include Canada's First Quantum Minerals, London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc, Glencore International Plc, Barrick Gold, Brazil's Vale and Metorex of South Africa.
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