Message Mar 16 Avr 2013 07:54

Etat des lieux au 15/04

FIRST Quantum Mineral (FQM)’s copper production is set to hit a record high of 700,000 metric tonnes by 2015. The company’s multi-stage expansion projects at Kansanshi and Trident operations in North-Western Province would play a key role in this increase. FQM aims to increase copper output capacity to 400,000 tonnes at Kansanshi Mine Plc (KPM) and 300,000 tonnes at Trident mine.
Trident is still under construction but expected to be completed next year. Zambia’s peak copper production occurred in 1969 when about 720,000 tonnes of copper was produced, making the nation the world’s fourth largest copper producer. Speaking in Solwezi when Zambia Extractive Watch Society Organisation toured the mine, KMP assistant general manager Alan Delaney said about 10,000 workers are currently employed under Kansanshi while an additional 3,000 (2,000 direct and 1,000 indirect) will be created through the Trident project . With the recent acquisition of Inmet, another Canadian mining company, KMP’s parent company FQM, ranks among the top five copper producers in the world. “Kansanshi mine currently produces about 85 percent of FQM operations’ copper, it’s a monster, it ranks top eight individual copper mines in the world and with our expansion plans we will be moving that up to position four. It’s a large deposit but is also complicated and not easy to make money out of it,” he said.
Mr Delaney said KMP’s strategy is to remain cost-effective, acquire bigger equipment that will move more materials and contain the cost of operations. He said the trident project is being developed at cost of US$1.8 billion with mineral reserves of 774 million metric tonnes at 0.50 percent of copper. With on-going expansion programmes, in 2009 the company produced 245,000 tonnes of copper (about 37 percent of national output) which at that point was the record for Zambia. Last year was the best year for the mine with 261,000 tonnes of copper produced which is about a third of Zambia’s copper production.
Mr Delay said the mine also produces gold though in small quantities compared to copper. “The amount of copper in the tonne of ore overall is about one percent and about 0.2 grams gold…Kansanshi is a profitable mine that generates a lot of income and within 18 months of operation we started paying taxes well ahead of expectations” he said. He said the mine has undergone several expansions since it began operating in 2005 from an initial production capacity of 110,000 tonnes of copper. KMP now produces 260,000 tonnes of copper and more than 120,000 ounces of gold per year. Commenting on tax contribution, Mr Delaney said 74 percent of taxes paid are corporate tax, followed by mineral royalty at 15 percent and 11 percent for other payments such as pay as you earn, customs and import duties and export levy.
FQM has todate paid KR7.7 billion (K7.7 trillion) in corporate tax and KR1.5 billion (K1.5 trillion) in mineral royalties since it started operating. “We feel the rates of taxes are at the upper end of the global extractive industry. The country must derive the benefits of its resources, but existing investments are poor cost performers with historical capital debt and pay very little profit taxes.
We hope government policy focuses on encouraging more effective and broad-based investment rather than squeezing more money out of a small number of profitable companies or reducing investor freedom,” he said. Mr Delaney said increased transparency and ease of doing business will help Government meet its goal of quickly deriving equitable benefits from the mineral resources. KPM, the largest copper mine in Africa, is 80 percent owned by FQM and the remaining 20 percent by Government through ZCCM-Investment Holding. Daily Mail