26 Apr 2021
The people of Zambia are being encouraged to support Zambian-owned businesses by the country’s largest mining company in order to boost the economy. First Quantum Minerals received around US$1.65 billion from Zambian companies last year, matching 85% of the spending made by its two mines: Kansanshi in Solwezi and Sentinel in Kalumbila.
FQM Government Affairs Specialist Dr Godwin Beene said, “FQM is committed to supporting local entrepreneurs as they strive to get a foothold in the highly competitive mining value chain.” The company bought fuel, electricity and equipment from local agents. Reports highlight that in the past three years, FQM spent US$4.49 billion in Zambian businesses.
“Our vision is sustainable and responsible local procurement that positively contributes to a complex supply chain and by extension the economic and social development of the communities in which we operate.”
The purpose behind this is to help local businesses around its mines to stimulate sustainable growth and have more capacity.
Beene continued to show that the mining company has always tried to work with the local businesses. “We have always prioritised local suppliers wherever possible. In instances where the skills, goods, and standards we need are not available locally, we work with local entrepreneurs operating in that sector to develop that capacity. This in turn culminates in them being our preferred suppliers over foreign-owned companies once standards are sufficiently raised.”
He added, “Our capacity building initiative is therefore focused on services that Zambians can provide without raising our operational costs too much.”