JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Vancouver-based First Quantum is committed to Zambia and looks forward to a fruitful partnership with the Michael Sata-led administration, chairperson and CEO Philip Pascall said this week, following a meeting with the new president.
He said Sata’s willingness to engage with foreign investors to strike a balance between building a more prosperous nation, and ensuring that Zambia remains an attractive destination for foreign capital was encouraging.
“It is clear that President Sata wanted to see increased investment that gave both investors and Zambians mutual benefits,” Pascall said in a statement.
First Quantum is Zambia’s largest copper producer, and is the single largest contributor to the national treasury.
Pascall said that First Quantum’s investments in Zambia would continue. “First Quantum has unwavering commitment to Zambia. Therefore, we see ourselves as partners with the new administration as it strives to deliver enhanced and tangible social and economic benefits to Zambians.”
First Quantum recently announced ZK10-trillion additional investments in Zambia, a move expected to significantly increase its contributions to the national treasury.
First Quantum’s contribution to the national treasury currently stands at ZK6.5-trillion and has done since 2006. It currently pays ZK7.5-billion per day in various taxes.
The increased investment by the mining company will go towards further expansions of its existing Kansanshi mine, development of Sentinel mine, the first of three potential mines at its new large-scale mine project Trident and investment in a new copper smelter.
Zambia’s Mines Minister Wylbur Simuusa on Thursday said that government would like to increase its shareholding to at least 35% in all the projects, but that it would depend on how well government negotiates with the mining firms.