FIRST Quantum Minerals (FQM) Sentinel mine is estimated to contribute US$441 million to the country’s treasury in 2019, economist, Oliver Saasa has said.
Professor Saasa in a case study titled ‘Economic Impact of the Trident Project’, said it was additionally estimated that, in 2015, Sentinel would pay US$69 million in mineral royalty tax, rising to US$97 million and US$107 million in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
“Sentinel is projected to reach its peak in tax payments (royalty, corporate tax and variable profit tax) in 2019 when it will contribute to the national Treasury an estimatedUS$441 million in corporate tax alone,” Prof Saasa said.
Prof Saasa said although the level would subsequently taper down, the mine would continue to pay over the 2020-2027 period an average of US$272 million per annum in corporate tax.
He said Sentinel would also be paying an average of US$106 million annually in royalty tax, if it remained at six percent and an average variable profit tax of US$115 million over the same period.
On employment creation, Prof Saasa said the mining sector in North Western Province was the largest formal sector employer and it was the expectation that the Trident Project would significantly contribute to this.
“A total of 10,000 people are expected to benefit from the Project through employment, that is through direct, indirect and multiplier jobs. As of September 2013, more than 2,000 Zambians of which more than 1,400 from North West Province, were employed at the on-going construction of Sentinel,” he said.
He observed that there existed, in the Trident Project area, very low levels of formal education and inadequate employable skills amongst the people that reside around the Kalumbila mine project.
He said this made it difficult for the local population to be employed by the project and explained why it had remained a challenge for local people around Kalumbila to establish meaningful business activities that could improve people’s livelihoods.
“It is, nevertheless, the plan that the initial years of construction and production at Trident would help upscale the skills base among the immediate local population in Kalumbila. On-the-job training, for example, is one if the priority areas of the project,” he said.
He said the mining sector accounts for the largest share of Community Social Responsibility (CSR) compared to all the other sectors in Zambia, with over the 2010-2011 period, US$31.4 million was spent on CSR, followed with a huge gap by companies in real estate at US$1.2 million, those in professional, scientific and technical fields contributed US$1.1 million while deposit-taking firms such as banks contributed US$1.1 million.
He said FQM had already committed more than K128 million to CSR projects and entitlements at the Trident Project.