BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
ZAMBIA needs a stable mining regime to compete for investment with other countries in the World, says First Quantum Minerals (FQM) Country Manager, General Kingsley Chinkuli.
General Chinkuli said fundamental to long-term private sector investment was knowing what the costs would be for the life of the investment.
He stressed that mines across the world needed constant investment, in equipment, exploration and modernisation.
“The most important element of making Zambia truly competitive is a competitive and stable tax and royalty regime, stability in major costs such as electricity and fuel; and stability in labour,” General Chinkulisaid in a statement.
General Chinkuli said FQM remained the largest investor in Zambia, and there could be no question about the strategic contribution the company has made to the country.
“When the global economy presents challenges, as it can be depended on to do, whether as part of the global financial crises or else through the so-called commodity super-cycle, it falls to governments to make their jurisdictions the most attractive in which to place their investment,” he said.
He explained that if the investments were properly and intelligently marshalled, the sustainability of the communities was a direct spin-off.
FQM, he said, had invested heavily in the communities in which it worked.
“This has included health programmes, including HIV, malaria and the construction of clinics; conservation farming; education and scholarship programmes; infrastructure; and gender equality programmes,” he continued.
FQM paid more than US$533 million (K5.6 billion) in taxes to the Zambian government in 2018, with an additional US$10 million spent on community and infrastructure projects.