Zambia: Poverty, Toxic Water and Disease As Mine Offers No Hope of Social Transformation

analysis

Instead of growing hope, Zambia's Kansanshi mine's corporate social responsibility programme is undermining the hope of poor communities. The mine does not attach significant importance to the economic and social transformation of mining communities, and most of the company's corporate social responsibility activities reflect a total lack of seriousness in conceptualisation, design, financing, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

First Quantum Minerals and the Zambian government have been involved in multiple discussions, ranging from the use of dividends by First Quantum Mine (FQM) without prior consent from the state company Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) with which it is in a joint venture, and threats to cut labour due to changes in the tax regime, to First Quantum bidding to buy ZCCM/IH's 20% share in Kansanshi mine.

While these discussions are taking place, the impact of First Quantum activities on mining communities presents another front for engagement between the state and the company. A report published by the Southern Africa Resource Watch entitled Living in a Parallel Universe: First Quantum versus the mining communities in Zambia has exposed the inadequacy of First Quantum's social and environmental interventions. Contrary to First Quantum claims that it is a responsible company, the report...

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