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His Royal Highness Chief Ntambu (centre) of Ntambu Chiefdom – accompanied by Her Royal Highness (left), pictured with Senior Chief Sailunga (right) of Mwinilunga District in Northern-Western Province witnessed the restocking of the Ntambu Community Game Reserve by FQM.

KALUMBILA, ZAMBIA – First Quantum Minerals has supplemented wildlife populations in Ntambu Community Game Reserve, in Chief Ntambu’s chiefdom of Mwinilunga District, with a contribution of 178 animals from seven different species. The move is aimed at establishing conservation-based economies around the West Lunga ecosystem, while promoting sustainable management of wildlife and the natural environment. These steps are key to easing the impact of climate change and preserving Zambia’s natural heritage.

In his Keynote address at the opening ceremony, His Royal Highness Chief Ntambu assured the Game Reserve’s cooperating partners that the community business unit in charge of the Ntambu Community Game Reserve would take all necessary measures to ensure the animals are monitored closely and well protected in their new home. The Ntambu Community Game Reserve (NCGR) project was created as a partnership between the Ntambu Royal Establishment, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, and the West Lunga Conservation Project, with funding from First Quantum Minerals.

A mass capture operation took place at the Kansanshi Mine wildlife reserve from the 2nd to 10th August 2021, in which 100 Impala, 14 Eland, 11 Zebra, and 32 Puku were relocated to Ntambu Community Game Reserve. A further 21 animals were relocated to the reserve in prior operations. These animals will bolster wildlife numbers and help to develop a wildlife breeding programme. The mine hopes to introduce Waterbuck, Hartebeest, and Sable in the coming years.

In partnership with FQM, the West Lunga Conservation Project has also set up Kafunfula Community tourism camp, on the banks of the Kabompo River in Senior Chief Musele’s Game Management Area. The camp is perfectly situated to become a popular destination for fishing, bird watching, and game viewing as wildlife returns to the area. Only a four-hour drive from Solwezi, it is also one of the nearest tourist destinations to the booming population centres in the North-Western province.

The camp is an example of how improved wildlife populations create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in the form of conservation-based businesses. Under the environmental compliance terms agreed with the Ministry of Mines and the Forestry Department, First Quantum is committed to preserving forests and helping to restore the ecological balance that has been disrupted in recent decades by development and illegal poaching. To that end, the company operates a 10,000-hectare nature reserve within its Kalumbila mine lease. The mining firm has invested over $4.5 million in conservation activities in and around the West Lunga ecosystem since 2014.

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