First Quantum Minerals (FQM) has projected production in 2017 to be approximately 240, 000 tonnes of copper, and approximately 145, 000 ounces of gold representing a decrease from 2016 production which is said to be primarily due to lower grades expected during the course of 2017.
And the company says it needs to see stability in the Zambian mining tax and mineral royalty codes, coupled with a guaranteed increase in electricity supply at a competitive tariff if the company is to consider a previously proposed expansion at the Kansanshi Mine.
FQM Country Manager General Kingsley Chinkuli in a statement states that the most important element of making Zambia truly competitive is stability in the tax and royalty regime, stability in major costs such as electricity or fuel; and stability in labor.
General Chinkuli notes that mines across the world need constant investment; in hardware, exploration, and modernization.
General Chinkuli has however stated that the construction of the second smelter by the mines can help boost Investment and copper exports which is the nation’s largest source of foreign exchange, but that recent proposed hikes in electricity tariffs combined with an absence of cheap power imports has made the prospect less likely.
Meanwhile General Chinkuli has announced that First Quantum has paid in excess of 2billion united states dollars in salaries in Zambia and paid over 1billion united states dollars in tariffs to ZESCO which he says have resulted into tangible step changes in quality of life for thousands of Zambians.