Wed, 21 Feb 2018 09:01:47 +0000
By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
FIRST Quantum Minerals (FQM) has announced that its total investment in Zambia presently amounts to over US$5 billion which has since been invested in different sectors of the economy.
FQM’s Trident Foundation manager, Garth Lappeman, said despite some of the challenges faced by the mine, it had continued to undertake substantial programmes in health, education and agriculture though the 2014-2015 drop in the copper price.
Mr. Lappeman highlighted that taxes paid by FQM in Zambia now amounted to over US$3.5 billion including dividends paid to ZCCM-IH of more than US$200 million.
He further said the mine had an investment in corporate social responsibility (CSR) of US$100 million, bringing the total investment in Zambia to over US$5 billion.
“We have spent well over US$43 million on our sustainability and community development programmes. The overall objective of our socio-economic development programmes is to create lasting self-reliance for our employees, their families and the immediate communities around the mine site,” he said.
Mr. Lappeman said as a private company, it was challenging to remain consistent with its sustainable development activities when the business model kept changing in response to external factors.
“We have had to focus on priorities and reduce infrastructure expenditure. There will always be a relationship between how we perform as a business, and how much development work we can do,
“The more development partners in the mix, the more resilient and stable the development trajectory. This is why strong relationships based on honesty and mutual respect are so important. These are the fundamentals of any partnership,” he said.
Mr. Lappeman however said the mining firm believed that true economic growth of a country was reflected in the state of health, education, agriculture and quality of life that of its citizens.