EconomyEditor's Pick

Govt says launch of Nickel concentrator at First Quantum Minerals marks a new era for Zambia


Government says the commissioning of the Nickel Concentrator at First Quantum Minerals’ (FQM) Enterprise Nickel mine in Kalumbila District of North-Western Province has marked a new era for Zambia’s mining industry, as it diversifies its mining portfolio.

According to Mines and Minerals Development Minister Paul Kabuswe, the nickel processing plant, completed in 2016 and approved for environmental operation, had been on care and maintenance since then, awaiting favourable market conditions.

Speaking during the launch of the Concentrator on Thursday, Kabuswe said with the global push for a green energy transition, rising demand for nickel, a key metal in this shift and a new favourable mining regime, the timing was right to fire up the nickel operation.

“First Quantum Minerals’ decision to fire up the concentrator is a welcome sign that the company is committed to its partnership with Zambia and the mining sector. This is a positive development for the country’s investment climate and shows that Zambia is open for business,” said Kabuswe.

He said that investing in nickel was not only a way to diversify Zambia’s mineral portfolio, but it was also an investment in the future.

Kabuswe said that Zambia’s economy had long been dependent on copper exports, making it vulnerable to fluctuations in the global copper market and that these fluctuations can have a significant impact on the country’s economic growth.

“As Africa’s largest producer of nickel, Zambia will become a strategic supplier of an essential material for electric batteries and other clean energy solutions.
This will help to position Zambia as a leader in the global transition to a clean energy economy,” he said.

FQM Trident General Manager, Junior Keyser, said the mine was expected to produce 32,000 tonnes of nickel per year, making Zambia the largest nickel producer on the continent and the 10th largest producer in the world.

Keyser said the mine would also create an estimated 700 permanent jobs and generate significant economic benefits for the country.

“Zambia is poised to become a major player in the global electric vehicle industry, thanks to its abundant reserves of nickel. This investment will help to ensure that Zambia is at the forefront of this new and growing market,” he said.

Read More:Mine workers Union regrets govt delays to announce Konkola, Mopani new investors

Keyser further said that by working together, the government and the private sector can ensure that Zambia’s mining sector continues to be a major driver of employment and economic growth.

“Zambia’s mining industry has a long and successful history. It has come a long way and is still making great progress,” he said.

Keyser said development of the mine and plant resumed last year after FQM earmarked an additional US$100 million investment to finalise the project in the light of improved market condition.

WARNING! All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express permission from ZAMBIA MONITOR.

‘Copper Queens deserve praise,’ Hichilema implores media to focus on positives of team’s outing at FIFA World Cup

Previous article

President Hichilema calls for amendment of laws limiting growth in agriculture sector

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Economy