FQM KANSANSHI MINE DIGS DEEP TO BOOST COPPER SALES AND PRODUCTION
Company’s delight at progress despite challenges facing the industry
SOLWEZI, ZAMBIA – First Quantum Minerals subsidiary Kansanshi Mine has celebrated a 10 percent rise in copper production from 58,706 tonnes in the third quarter of 2017 to 64,800 tonnes in the fourth quarter, to cap off a successful year. The mining firm recorded an end-of-year production figure of 250,801 tonnes of copper and sold 267,700 tonnes of the metal by drawing on inventory in stock. Total copper production and sales for the last 12 months beat the prior year’s targets by around six percent and eight percent, respectively.
The company’s newer Sentinel Mine in Kalumbila reported a 7 percent rise in production for the quarter, to 57,190 tonnes, compared with 53,533 tonnes in the fourth quarter. FQM Country Manager General Kingsley Chinkuli said the figures reinforced the important role that mining companies played in the Zambian economy, and underscored the importance of an open and honest relationship between the mining industry and government.
He added that a balance must be sought to ensure that all Zambians get their fair share of the profits.
“Despite the global and local challenges the mining sector faced in 2017, we are pleased with our fourth quarter results for the last year and we remain optimistic that the momentum of the previous 12 months can be carried into the first quarter 2018,” said General Chinkuli.
He said that Zambia needed to strive towards achieving a sustainable and viable mining sector to continue the significant contribution made towards economic development and foreign exchange earnings.
“Over the past few months we have seen the price of copper increase, which is good for a company that mines low-grade copper ore. And we hope to continue to invest in the latest hardware, exploration and modernisation techniques,” he said. General Chinkuli further said that when the world’s economy presented challenges, such as the recent global financial crisis, or as a result of the commodity super-cycle, it was even more important for governments to make their jurisdictions the most attractive in which to invest.
“Taxes paid by First Quantum in Zambia now amount to more than US$3.5 billion; dividends paid to ZCCM-IH in excess of US$200 million, and an investment in corporate social responsibility of US$100 million, meaning a total investment in Zambia in excess of US$5 billion, and delivering tangible social improvement to thousands of Zambians. These are the irrefutable facts: what is good for the investor is good for Zambia,” he said. The mining firm, which is the country’s largest taxpayer, emphasised that a key element of making Zambia competitive was a stable tax and royalty regime, stability in major costs such as electricity and fuel; stability in labour; and reliable refund of VAT.
The company believes that fundamental to long-term private sector investment is knowing what the costs will be for the life of its investment in Zambia, and that a natural equilibrium must be sought to ensure equitable benefits between investors, government and communities.