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HomeNewsFQM beefs-up security in Kalumbila

FQM beefs-up security in Kalumbila

As the mining firm has handed over new infrastructure to the Zambia police service

Security for local people in Kalumbila district has been given a boost with the handover of Kalumbila Police Station and Kisasa Police Post to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security by First Quantum Minerals (FQM).

And in supporting the operations of the Zambia Police Service in the district, the company, through FQM Trident, has also constructed nine housing units.

Speaking before he officially commissioned the facility, Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Hon Jack Mwiimbu said the commissioning of the new and improved infrastructure will serve as a cornerstone for ensuring the safety and security of the local people, as well as improved working environment for the police officers.

“The government of the Republic of Zambia has continued to partner with business communities in this country. And in this light, the government has partnered with First Quantum in ensuring that we provide infrastructure for Zambia police. We are aware that First Quantum has provided medical facilities, educational facilities, and agricultural facilities, and they have been supporting the business community in North-Western Province.

“First Quantum Minerals is not the only mine that is mining in Zambia, there are so many other mining companies operating. But I want to state without fear of contradiction, that a number of mining companies that are operating in Zambia have not done much cooperate social responsibility compared to what First Quantum has done in the short stay they have been in Zambia,” he said.

Hon. Mwiimbu added that government is aware of the security concerns that the mines in North-Western Province are facing and noted that people coming from different parts of the country have invaded the province in search of minerals and that if left unchecked, this can have the potential to become organised criminal gangs.

The Minister was accompanied by North-Western Province Minister Robert Lihefu, Zambia Police Service Inspector General Graphel Musamba, FQM Country Manager Dr Godwin Beene, FQM Trident General Manager Junior Keyser, local traditional leaders, and other senior government officials. Government is aware that mining activities affect stakeholders and the local communities, and he urged mine management to continue to work with the local communities in finding solutions to challenges affecting mine operations and the areas in which the company operates.

Speaking before the Minister, Dr Beene said “At group level, our company First Quantum Minerals Limited believes that it makes sound business sense to involve local communities and other relevant stakeholders in our business. We seek to engage and collaborate with them in order to build and maintain effective long-term and mutually beneficial relationships and conduct business in a way that provides long-term economic opportunity and supports social well-being.

We further recognise that each of the communities in which we operate is unique and that establishing and maintaining long-term relationships with them is fundamental to the company’s success.”
The mining firm believes security is key to promoting investor confidence. To this effect, the Zambia Police Service Inspector General Graphel Musamba said, “First Quantum Minerals has been an all-weather friend in the fight against crime in Kalumbila District. The infrastructure you’ll soon be commissioning was wholly constructed by First Quantum Minerals Limited at a great cost. You may wish to know that since the mine started its operations, they have supported the police service in Kalumbila District to enable it to conduct police operations and to fight crime accordingly.”

FQM Trident Limited General Manager Junior Keyser expressed concern at the rise in crime in communities surrounding the mining firm’s mining operations.

“As First Quantum Trident Limited, we do appreciate that over the last ten years, as a result of the mine being here, we have unfortunately seen a big influx of people and a rise in crime. Ten years ago, it was unheard of to experience any crime, but nowadays, you see a lot of petty crime, opportunistic crime, a lot of people trying to extort money from our local community, even things like gender-based violence that we very seldom seen in the past, and also most recent issues with regards to illegal mining and other more serious crimes like cable theft, diesel theft and also some other infrastructure that is being vandalised,” he added.

First Quantum Minerals has been working with the police and recently dispersed an illegal settlement that was mushrooming on the north end of the mine’s premises.

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