12 July 2012

Zambia: 'Govt Committed to Trident Project'

Solwezi — THE Government is keen to see the Trident Mining project in North-Western Province by First Quantum Minerals (FQM) realised soon because the investment has a significant bearing on the country's economy.

Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma said Government wants the Trident Mining project in Kalumbila realised because the investment, once up and running, would boost the country's economy.

Mr Yaluma was speaking in Solwezi when he toured the Trident's Sentinel project and Kansanshi Mine to familarise himself with FQM mining investment in the country.

The minister was accompanied on the tour by his Lands, Environment and Natural Resources counterpart Wylbur Simuusa and Mines Safety Department director Mooya Lumamba.

Mr Yaluma was impressed with the US $1.7 billon Sentinel project, which was earmarked to create 1, 500 jobs in the country.

"$1.7 billion investment gives us hope that we must support the project because it is a massive one that is going to create a lot of jobs," Mr Yaluma said.

He regretted the challenges faced by the mine investor in having some of the technical mining aspect of the environmental impactassessment (EIA) approved by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) and the Solwezi Municipal Council.

Mr Yaluma promised to help facilitate quick implementation of the mining venture.

He said having seen the kind of investment in terms of equipment and labour invested in the Sentinel project, Government would ensure that it brought policies that were favourable to the mine investors.

Earlier FQM chairperson and chief executive officer (CEO) Phillip Pascal said the company was facing some challenges in the smoothimplementation of the Sentinel project because of bureaucracy in the approval of some required mining procedures as well as importation of machinery.

FQM group manager for projects Zenon Wozniak said the development of Sentinel Mine commenced in May this year.

Mr Wozniak said so far, civil works were underway after which, commencement of housing and infrastructure development would follow.

Meanwhile, Mr Simuusa expressed the need for investors in the extractive industry to mine responsibly so as not to distract the environment.

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