FQM CALLS FOR INCLUSIVE AND SUSTAINABLE GROWTH THROUGH CORPORATE SOCIAL INVESTMENT
LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – First Quantum Minerals says the corporate world should start looking at Corporate Social Investment as a moral duty as opposed to a mere statutory obligation if they are to have a lasting positive impact on communities in which they operate.
The mining firm said it was imperative for corporate entities, particularly those in the extractive sector, to ensure that today’s goals did not outweigh tomorrow’s needs, adding that current problems ought to inspire lasting solutions for the future.
FQM’s Kansanshi Mining Plc Public Relations Manager Godfrey Msiska said: “First Quantum Minerals has a very simple philosophy. Our philosophy in CSI is not to give a man a fish for each day that he is hungry, but rather to teach him how to fish. Because we know that once we adopt that approach, then long after the mine has left, those people will be able to sustain themselves. Sustainable livelihoods should, therefore, be the main objective. The people should be able to look after themselves.”
Mr Msiska, who was speaking at the just-ended 3rd Zambia CSR/CSI Responsible Business Awards in Lusaka, noted that driving growth while fostering community development through conservation farming, improved healthcare, and business linkages in the areas of its operations, were the mine’s main sustainability strategies.
The awards, held on World CSR Day, were under the theme: Celebrating Sustainability Excellence Towards Achieving Vision 2030 and SDGs.
FQM’s Zambia subsidiaries Kansanshi Mining in Solwezi and FQM Trident in Kalumbila walked away with a total of six awards.
Kansanshi received the CSR Excellence in Literacy Support award for its Adult Literacy Programme, and the Community Social Impact award for its Youth Development Programme in Conservation Farming while working with the differently abled in Solwezi, while FQM Trident walked away with the Environmental Stewardship award for its animal/fish restocking and environmental action targeting pupils in local schools. The mine also received the CSR Excellence Award in Public Health and Safety Initiative for its deep borehole and water tank projects in Kisasa along with the Disaster Responsiveness Award for a new 24-hour emergency fire and rescue station it put up in Kalumbila.
FQM’s social sustainability spending has exceeded US$100 million since it started its operations in Zambia (Kalumbila, Kansanshi, Bwana Mkubwa) – delivering tangible social and economic improvement to thousands of Zambians.
“It is very important for us to acknowledge the importance of this event as a motivation for corporates and individuals in Zambia to start taking the lead in ensuring that the communities are taken care of,” Mr Msiska explained.
“We as First Quantum Minerals are very proud to be associated with Corporate Social Investment. Because we feel that it is a duty on our part as corporates. Not an obligation, it is a duty to ensure that the communities around us also benefit from our presence,” he continued.
Speaking at the same event, CSR Network Zambia Executive Director, Lee Muzala said that from inception, the CSR Network Zambia had undergone significant growth saying that the organisation’s overall goal was to build a community of responsible trading practices among corporates in Zambia.
“The CSR awards form a platform where we can share best experiences, best practices, trends within different sectors and learn from one another,” explained Mr Muzala.
And Regional Director for the SDG Centre for Africa, Dr Ambrose Rwaheru Aheisibwe said that the 2021 CSR Awards came at the right time as there was a serious need for private sector participation, especially in the implementation and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“The private sector, we believe can play a key role in the implementation of SDGs,” he said.
“As they engage with the SDGs framework, they will be driving business growth and productivity whilst contributing to the realisation of sustainable economic growth as envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
“The 2021 CSR awards recognise individuals and organisation who take action while building coalitions across communities, as well as those who shift behaviour and policies towards achieving the SDGs, and those that increase actual progress on the Goals while strengthening dialogue and trust between people and institutions at all levels,” he added.
About First Quantum Minerals Ltd
First Quantum Minerals Ltd is a global metals and mining company producing mainly copper, gold and zinc. The company’s assets are in Zambia, Spain, Mauritania, Australia, Finland, Turkey, Panama, Argentina and Peru.
In 2021, First Quantum globally produced 816,435 tonnes of copper, 312,492 ounces of gold and 16,818 tonnes of nickel.
In Zambia it operates the Kansanshi mine and smelter in Solwezi and the Trident mine in Kalumbila.
The company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.