Finance Minister visits Kalumbila, paves way for new era of co-operation

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Finance Minister Hon. Felix Mutati and FQM Country Manager Gen. Kingsley Chinkuli shake hands on a new era of co-operation.

Finance Minister Hon. Felix Mutati and FQM Country Manager Gen. Kingsley Chinkuli shake hands on a new era of co-operation.

Finance Minister Hon. Felix Mutati visited the “mega investment” at the heart of the nation’s economy on Saturday (October 29), paving the way for a new era of co-operation between the government and First Quantum Minerals, the country’s largest tax-payer.
The minister toured First Quantum Minerals’ Sentinel mine in Kalumbila to see for himself how the nation’s largest copper miner is generating economic growth for the country through investment in state-of-the-art equipment, expertise and innovation to enable the low-grade copper deposit to be mined viably.
“An operation such as this one doesn’t need to have the challenges of power, and I think that’s critically important. An investment of this scale also requires a level of certainty and predictability so as we dispatch policy we have to be mindful we are dealing with mega investment and therefore can’t afford to shift around because these trucks can’t go into reverse; they can only go forward,” said Mr Mutati as he inspected some of the company’s 400-tonne trucks, some of the largest in the world.
“I don’t think you could do a better job rather than invest in something as huge as this. These trucks are eating 250 tonnes in a go; that’s phenomenal. Well done you guys,” he told company executives.
Despite depressed copper prices, First Quantum Minerals (FQM) has invested US$5.7 billion in its Sentinel and Enterprise mines, and Kansanshi mine and smelter, and has paid more than US$3 billion in taxes in the last ten years, transforming the economy of North-Western Province and creating employment for more than 8,500 people.
In addition to being Zambia’s largest taxpayer, First Quantum Minerals produces around two thirds of the nation’s copper. The metal accounts for 60 percent of Zambia’s exports.
In welcoming the minister’s confidence in the company’s operations, FQM head of government affairs John Gladston said: “We are looking forward to a new era of close partnership between First Quantum and the new government based on mutual respect and understanding. What is good for First Quantum Minerals is good for the nation of Zambia; the fortunes of the company and the copper industry as a whole are closely linked to that of the country, and thus it is imperative that we work together to safeguard the future of the sector.”
Among the issues discussed during the three-day visit from Friday to Sunday were the requirements for stabilisation of electricity supplies to the mines, approval for a Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) at Kalumbila, and completion of the Solwezi-Chingola road.
“The MFEZ will happen. There is a solution and it will happen pretty soon. We discussed it this morning; the Minister of Commerce was with us; she has left to begin to work on the solution. Government is as determined as that, and if the minister can go back to work on the MFEZ at the weekend then we are pretty serious,” said the Finance Minister.


7 Responses to Finance Minister visits Kalumbila, paves way for new era of co-operation

  1. Let them build a smelter and government to construct a road from Kalimbila via Kabompo -Lukulu-kaoma-sesheke into Namibia to Welvis bay. These are planning schemes which make economic sense than a road from Mpika to Nabwalya over Muchinga escarpment to Chipata simply because Sata comes from there.

    October 30, 2016 at 8:37 am

    • Yes indeed thy shud critically look into it.visit mines u see hw pipo ar suffrng.lik pa last quant nfc

      October 30, 2016 at 9:11 pm

  2. It will be very economical for gvt 2 link these two provinces with good road network system there is minerals,timber,sugarcane plantation & other cash crops such tobacco, stapple crops like maize,cassava,rice which can bring country economical benefit by 95% than Mpika/Chama road

    Sishenyi Charles
    October 30, 2016 at 2:27 pm

  3. First quantum minerals has the capacity to work on SOLWEZI -chingola road if gvt can only exempt them not paying tax for certain months.currently the road is very very bad that trucks take alot time to take copper to the intended destinations hence reducing the whole process(meaning if trucks for example were taking two loads per day and now are taking one load a day is a lose to the company and the gvt bcoz the company will definitely pay less in terms of tax.president lungu shouldn’t be in mood of impressing some pipo to give him votes but think of where is the money coming from and make such area in his programmes as first priorities.Do the right things and pipo will praise u not please few pipo and remain stake economically poor planning

    Collins manchele
    October 30, 2016 at 8:52 pm

  4. Yenanikosawandini.fqm iz much mo better thn nfc awee mwandi zerro.

    October 30, 2016 at 9:15 pm

  5. You don’t know first quantum until you join them. Govt does not look at the future of this nation hence allowing the mining companies to bring bigger trucks which are reducing the life spine of the mine. In other countries Govt determine the size of the equipment to enter the country so as to protect the industry.fikabwa fi copper nombaline fye.

    October 30, 2016 at 11:01 pm

  6. Government shud seriously respond to concerns frm de citizens above nd put them into consideration

    Nature Chansa
    October 31, 2016 at 8:40 am

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