One by one, the biggest names in African mining are getting squeezed. The tactics might be blunt, but the message is clear: the countries where they operate want a bigger share of the proceeds. The collapse in commodities through 2015 hobbled some of Africa’s biggest resource economies, stunting growth and leaving budgets short. Since then a recovery in prices has sent the continent’s biggest miners soaring, boosted profits and rewarded shareholders with bumper payouts. But a lack of returns to governments is drawing a backlash from Mali to Tanzania. Zambia is the latest flashpoint. Africa’s second biggest copper producer slapped a $7.9bn tax assessment on First Quantum Minerals and said it was planning an audit of other miners in the country. Firms operating in Zambia include units of Glencore and Vedanta Resources. Next door in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Glencore is dealing with a dispute over a new mining policy that pushes up taxes, while leading gold producer Mali ha...

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