THE government of Canada, through its High Commission in Zambia, has commended Africa’s largest copper producer First Quantum Minerals (FQM), for its $4 billion Kansanshi mine investment, acknowledging the mine’s position as the largest taxpayer in Zambia.
Visiting the Solwezi mine, Head of the Office of the High Commission of Canada in Lusaka Amy Galigan saw at first hand the scale of operations at the mine, driven by FQM’s massive investment, whose primary listing is on the Toronto Stock Exchange, with a secondary listing on the Lusaka Stock Exchange.
“Kansanshi is a remarkable engineering and technology achievement. However, it is also an important contributor to the Zambian economy – through direct and indirect employment; taxes and royalties it pays to government; and via its programmes to increase employability and skills in the surrounding community, improve education outcomes, and work with farmers to increase their yields,” said Ms Galigan.
Kansanshi Mine is expected to produce 235,000 tonnes of copper and 150,000 ounces of gold in 2016.
Ms Galigan further praised government for providing a good environment under which mines were operating in the country.
”A stable, predictable and balanced business and regulatory environment promotes the kind of investment First Quantum Minerals is making in Zambia,” she said, after visiting the mine along with European Union Ambassador and Head of Delegation Alessandro Mariani.
The Kansanshi mine investment has enabled the acquisition of technology which has brought innovative approaches to mineral extraction. The investment has also resulted in operations at the mine becoming more efficient, dynamic, profitable and sustainable; she was told by Kansanshi mine head of Public Relations Godfrey Msiska.
FQM, the largest taxpayer in Zambia, has committed to supporting government in its quest to ensure full transparency and accountability in the production of mineral resources, and was among the first to adopt the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development’s new EU-supported reporting mechanism introduced at the beginning of this year under the Mineral Production Monitoring Support Project.
FQM has invested some US$4 billion in developing the Kansanshi mine since 2005, transforming the economy of North-Western Province and creating employment for more than 8,500 people. FQM is also currently commissioning the US$2.1bn Sentinel Mine at Kalumbila, 120km west of Kansanshi. Kansanshi produced 227,000 tonnes of copper and more than 136,000 ounces of gold in 2015. It paid K1.74 billion of taxes to the government in 2015, excluding PAYE.