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Zambia: SARW report claims host mining community not benefiting from First Quantum Mineral's subsidiary; company responds

Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARWATCH) recently launched a report titled ‘ Living in a Parallel Universe, First Quantum Mine versus communities in Zambia’. The report raises a number of serious allegations against First Quantum Mine’s Kansanshi mine operating in Solwezi, Zambia amongst them, the destruction of the environment by the activities of Kansanshi mine, displacement of families, and false corporate and social responsibility reports. First Quantum Mine has denied these allegations and claims SARWATCH report is flawed, unauthentic and grossly unfair.

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Article
17 March 2019

First Quantum Minerals denies local communities not benefiting from its operations

Author: First Quantum Minerals

"Bad Research is Destablising Community Trust, says Mine"

Poorly researched, one-sided reports by activists are undermining the relationships between mining companies and their host communities, says First Quantum Minerals (FQM).
A recent flurry of pamphlets by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) appears to be calculated to destabilise the trust built up with local people, says the company, which operates the Kansanshi Mine in Solwezi and Sentinel Mine at Kalumbila. “It is entirely right and proper that mines are open to scrutiny and held accountable for their actions, and indeed First Quantum goes to great lengths to ensure it is transparent in its corporate operations and sustainability programmes,” said FQM country manager General Kingsley Chinkuli. “What is more concerning are NGOs – often backed by foreign donors and with little understanding of the issues – that make spurious claims without robust evidence-based research or sound methodologies.”...

One recent example involved a foreign-funded report containing a litany of factual errors and unsubstantiated claims about the Kansanshi Mine, with the sweeping statement: “There is clear resistance from the company to invest in sustainable CSR”. In fact, in addition to the US$3.3 billion paid by the mine in taxes, employment of 5,140 direct staff and a similar number of indirect workers, Kansanshi Mining Plc has spent US$30 million on direct community support through the Kansanshi Foundation since 2005. US$4.79 million was spent in 2018 alone

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Report
17 March 2019

Report claims First Quantum's subsidiary not benefiting local communities

Author: Southern Africa Resource Watch

"Living in a parallel universe: First Quantum Mine versus Communities in Zambia"

...

Between March and August 2018, the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARWatch) undertook two field research visits in Solwezi to establish the social and economic impact of miningactivities on local communities. Solwezi, which is in the North Western Province of Zambia, is host to one of the biggest mining investments in Zambia – First Quantum Minerals (FQM). FQM is a Canadian-based company listed on the Toronto and London stock exchanges, which has majority shares in three mines in Solwezi – Kansanshi, Lumwana and Kalumbila/Trident. This report focuses on Kansanshi Mine. Of the three Solwezi mines that belong to FQM, the activities of Kansanshi Mine are under-reported. Most of the reports on FQM have been on Lumwana and Kalumbila. This report looks into the environmental impact of Kansanshi Mine’s activities, the mine’s corporate social responsibility programme, and problems linked to the relocation of communities.

Mining pollutes, and there are always concerns about how a company is mitigating the environmental impact of its activities on people, water, land, and properties. The communities that surround Kansanshi are rural and mostly agricultural. Land and water are essential to their livelihood. If you disturb access to water or land, you increase their vulnerability. The Kansanshi Mine’s activities have an environmental impact on water and land, and therefore also on agriculture and food security... One of the main concerns for the affected people, who are incapable of fighting against this powerful company, is the non-availability of alternative land for them.

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