FQM welcomes presidential inspection of Solwezi-Chingola Road

Filed under: Business,Latest News |

First Quantum Minerals (FQM) has thanked President Edger Chagwa Lungu for taking the time to inspect the Solwezi-Chingola road, on which the company has spent more than US$3.5 million to date in engineering and maintenance works.

The mining firm has worked on 128km of the 168km road, carrying out pothole and shoulder repairs, reconstruction of certain sections and even surfacing of some of the unsealed base courses constructed by the contractors.

“FQM decided that urgent action needed to be taken, as the road is the lifeblood of the company – and indeed the country. All its consumable goods and finished copper is transported on the same road. And we have completed temporal rehabilitation of the Chingola-Solwezi road, much to the delight of all motorists, as it has made the road passable during the rainy season,” said FQM head of government affairs John Gladston.

Good road infrastructure plays an important role in attracting foreign direct investment – not just in North-Western Province, but in the nation generally he added..

He said that the road had deteriorated to such a state that North-Western Province faced being cut-off from the rest of the country during the rainy season, potentially bringing copper exports to a standstill.

“We rely on the road not only for supply but also to move our copper concentrate to the smelter on the Copperbelt. Any work stoppage due to the bad state of the road would have crippled operations at the mine will suffer, and we would not have suffered alone – the Zambian economy would suffer as a whole, as well,” said Gladston.

Faced with losing its route to market, the county’s largest copper producer deployed 85 staff and contractors, including road engineers and labour, along with equipment to complete remedial work on the road which carries 60 percent of the nation’s mineral wealth to market.

“The work done by First Quantum served to stabilise this road which was previously in a deplorable state and presented a real and present danger to the mining sector and to those Zambians whose livelihoods depend on it. The works we undertook on the road has kept business flowing in Zambia’s new Copperbelt, much to the benefit of the Zambian economy,” added Mr Gladston.

Because of its intensive use of infrastructure, FQM has recognised the transport sector as an important component of the economy and a common tool used for development, with a clear relationship between the quantity and quality of transport infrastructure and the level of economic development. High density transport infrastructure and highly-connected networks are associated with high levels of development.

FQM has also observed that when transport systems are safe and efficient, they provide economic and social opportunities and benefits that result in positive multiplier effects such as better accessibility to markets, employment, and additional investments, he added.


3 Responses to FQM welcomes presidential inspection of Solwezi-Chingola Road

  1. What boggles the mind is why a serious government would not pay attention to such a vital economic infrastructure at the expense of less economic ones? We know why though. How stupid can a government be?

    February 19, 2017 at 12:53 pm

  2. Why bother,let this part of the country be cut-off.

    February 21, 2017 at 11:17 am

  3. Let them cut us off so that we remain with our minerals who cares. In fact this thieving govt is not doing anything tangible for the province. To hell with them. We can be better off without these sycophansies

    February 21, 2017 at 3:40 pm

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31