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US envoy to Zambia observes need to support mines

US Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote has called on government and communities to support the mining sector and ensure the country’s economic backbone continues to provide jobs, tax revenue, and export earnings.
Speaking during a visit to First Quantum Minerals’ (FQM) Sentinel Mine at Kalumbila, Ambassador Foote has encouraged dialogue between mining companies, government, and communities to ensure all appropriately benefit from the enormous investment of FQM and others.
Mr. Foote has urged the government to ensure responsiveness and facilitate a conducive business environment for the mines and prospective investors.
“After seeing the mine and its impressive modern facilities, and the enormous investment that has been made as well the impressive investment that has been made into communities and some of the corporate social responsibility, I think it is a great example of what can be done in Zambia with the right investment. I encourage government and the communities to continue to work to create the right conditions to attract additional investors and to ensure that people who have invested heavily in Zambia can continue to successfully do business,” said Ambassador Foote.
Copper accounts for 70 percent of Zambia’s exports, and through its Sentinel and Kansanshi mines, FQM produces half of that copper.
The company, which has invested US$6.4 billion in Zambia, employs over 8,800 direct employees.
It is the country’s largest taxpayer, having paid US$3.4 billion to the Treasury since 2005.
FQM Country Manager General Kingsley Chinkuli has explained that if introduced, the recent Budget proposals threatened the stability of the mining sector and would result in the scaling back of investment plans, job losses and reduced tax revenues across the industry.

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