—First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQM) has started replacing diesel operated excavators and trucks that transport waste rock and copper ore from the open pit hydro-electricity operated equipment.
And the construction of a US $690 million copper ore smelter phase-one at Kansanshi mine in Solwezi has progressed and works on the mega project are expected to be completed in June, this year.
Kansanshi Mine assistant General Manager, Alan Delaney, disclosed this yesterday when he took North Western province Permanent Secretary, Amos Malupenga, on a conducted tour of the mine.
Mr Delaney told Mr Malupenga that FQM is investing in hydro electrical powered trucks to cut on the consumption of diesel.
He said the mining giant continues to seek practicable and economically viable ways to ensure the mine continues to make profit through efficient and effective mining activities.
And Mr Delaney said First Quantum Minerals is investing US $690 million in constructing the phase one of the world’s biggest copper smelter at Kansanshi mine in Solwezi.
He disclosed the construction of the smelter is expected to be completed in June and will start operation in October, this year.
The manager said an additional US $500 million will be spent in the second phase of the project to double the capacity.
He said the smelter will have production capacity of 2.2 million copper concentrates per year from both Kansanshi and Sentinel mines while a total of 550 permanent jobs are expected to be created once the smelter becomes fully operational.
Currently, 3,000 people are employed at the mining operation that gives the country a total of US$2.4 billion revenue in taxes every year.
He told the PS that investing in right technology and right human labour is at the centre of FQM plan to ensure effective and efficient running of the mine.
Mr Delaney noted that with such an approach, the mine has continued to be an efficient profit-making operation that has not defaulted in paying its tax obligations to government.
Since 2005 when it took over the running of Kansanshi mine, FQM has been paying 48 per cent of its annual profits to government through corporate taxes, Pay as You Earn, export levies and royalties.
The mine has contributed a total of US $6.4 billion in taxes to government in the last nine years.
And Mr Malupenga told Mr Delaney that it was encouraging to see that a good percentage of FQM profits at Kansanshi mine was being contributed to the country’s gross domestic product.
He mentioned that it was not by accident that FQM has made Kansanshi mine to operate profitably, but the company is profitable because it plans to be efficient and effective in its operations.
The PS said planning to invest in effective and efficient way of running the mine is helping the mine operation to make profit, a lesson he insisted must be adapted and used in the public service which in most cases has not been efficient and effective in service delivery.