Minister of Finance Hon. Felix Mutati and Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe discuss work on the Chingola-Solwezi road with First Quantum Minerals director of operations Matt Pascal.
Minister of Finance Hon. Felix Mutati and Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe discuss work on the Chingola-Solwezi road with First Quantum Minerals director of operations Matt Pascal.

First Quantum Minerals (FQM) has reiterated is commitment to providing financial and practical support to restart the stalled government roadworks on the main Chingola-Solwezi highway.

The pledge came yesterday as Minister of Finance Hon. Felix Mutati and Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe inspected the road, work on which has been dogged by delays.

In an example of public-private partnership, First Quantum, which is Zambia’s largest taxpayer, has now stepped in to kick-start much-needed rehabilitation work on the blighted 180km road, which is a vital industrial link for the nation, carrying two thirds of the nation’s copper production and which is thus an economic lifeline for the country.

The ministers saw for themselves how First Quantum Minerals road engineering experts were undertaking stabilisation work before the rains set in, at a cost of US$2 million. The company is expecting to spend a further US$50 million next year for longer-term repairs.

The roadworks are in line with the government’s policy of upgrading roads in recognition of their impact on economic growth.

The mine has pointed out that its expenditure is in addition to the US$3 billion paid to the state in taxes in the last ten years, and is particularly significant in the context of the current depressed world copper prices and a mineral royalty tax that is higher than global industry norms.

“This road is the most strategically important economic artery in Zambia. Around 60-70 percent of the country’s mineral wealth travels along this road, which has been allowed to degenerate into a parlous state,” said FQM head of government affairs John Gladston. “Yet again this year First Quantum have undertaken emergency action to stabilise the road before the rains wash it away into the mud, thereby protecting the economic wealth of the nation.”

FQM has invested some US$3.6 billion in developing the Kansanshi mine and smelter since 2005, transforming the economy of North-Western Province and creating employment for more than 8,500 people. FQM is also currently commissioning the US$2.1bn Sentinel Mine at Kalumbila, 120km west of Kansanshi.

Kansanshi produced 227,000 tonnes of copper and more than 136,000 ounces of gold in 2015. It paid K1.74 billion of taxes to the government in 2015, excluding PAYE.

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61 COMMENTS

  1. MMMMH. IS IT REPAIR WORKS OR A COMPLETE OVERHAUL OF THE ROAD AS THEY ARE DOING IN THE KITWE CHINGOLA ROAD? REPAIR DOES NOT SOUND GOOD AT ALL. THE PATCHING UP OF THAT ROAD HAS NEVER HELPED.

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    • Good move. Their trucks and heavy equipment are what destroys the same road in the first place. I left it as a beauty and found it an eyesore when i recently went to Zambia. It is high time they did it

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    • The contractors China Geo and Buildcon have abandoned the site due to insufficient funding from this PF government. Honestly how do you construct roads in mpika where there are no economic benefits leaving out Solwezi-Chingola road where trucks move 24/7. Do you know how much money government is losing out in terms of revenue through Toll gates on this road?

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    • I hope Mutati will resist temptations of others wives, unlike those accusations when he was in ministry of commerce in MMD. Margaret mulekosa, kukana fye…

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    • PF lies are at variance with reality.

      FQM promises $50m for rehabilitation & PF coincidentally fools people by releasing K65m for the same. Is it just to beat off shame caused by FQM so as to save face? Rains are here esp NWP so how do u tar the road? Come next year u’ll still be commissioning tarring the same road.

      Why does it hav 2take FQM 2initiate it when nonproductive Muchinga received so much from Eurobond? Suppose NWP had no minerals what little wud PF even promise to do there?

      Anyway God in his wisdom endowed NWP with N/resources. Deny NWP development u are punishing yofellow tribesmen that trekked 2Solwezi 2work zmines. Its not only Kaondes, Luvales, Lundas, Luchazis etc that use that road. Even Kazimu Sata was coming from Solwezi when he had a mishap.

      PF think!…

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    • PF think!
      You cannot punish God’s people for ever.
      Reality has hit u & u need money from Solwezi mines!
      No more pretenses!

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    • @zebige If you go to Katanga Province the mines went into a deal with government in which they constructed required roads.

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    • It should be their obligation. If you live in Chingola you can see the heavy equipment that gets transported on that road. It is the mines that destroys it.

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    • PF are a disgrace. They could not find a mere $50m out of $9.2billion of debt they raised and stole over 5 years! And now they are dumping this road on a private company to do. Just $50m out of all those Eurobonds! No wonder they could not get votes from NWP.

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    • Instead of wasting $2m on holding maintenance why doesn’t Mutati engage FQM to finance the construction works already underway.
      Oh I forgot, then ECL won’t have his cut from the overpriced tender.

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  2. do not even bother those thieving investors on this one.
    we all know that the solution to this and other roads along the line of rail is by recapitalizing zambia railways such that goods weighing over a certain tonnage is transported by rail and not by road.
    our late president tried to resuscitate the rail line but met resistance from all angles. little did he know that all these trucks transporting copper and heavy goods are owned by ministers in govt and those prominent politicians in opposition. kavindele, in spite of his brilliant idea,is facing the same
    ask clive chirwa…….

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  3. I hear that road is quite bad. I wonder why government prioritised works on the NDOLA-KITWE dual carriage which was perfectly fine over the Solwezi-Chingola road.

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    • Because the Ndola-Kitwe dual carriage way was an accidents magnet. It still is, but the frequency has reduced markedly

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    • The Ndola Kitwe dual carriage way is the second busiest in sub-Saharan Africa after Pretoria-Johannesburg so if it is not in good shape it will attract plenty of accidents

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    • @Zebige; Are you sure about accidents along KITWE-NDOLA road? Maybe you meant Kitwe-Chingola road which is being turned into dual-carriage. Yes Kitwe-Chingola road was accident prone, not quite sure about Kitwe-Ndola road though

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    • Barely two days passes without an accident on the Kitwe-Ndola road. Yaipaya abantu napanshi patalala especially near Baluba

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    • PF have also failed to finish the Kitwe-Chingola dual carriageway. That’s where people are still getting killed on a daily basis.

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  4. Some people never appreciate no matter what you offer. Prevention, maintenance which we sometimes call repair works is an essential part in having a good road.

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  5. $50m for maintence??? What is the cost of overhailing the Road??? Quite pathetic travelling from Chingola to Solwezi..

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  6. i can smell the corruption of mutati from here. smells of kaka just like lungu’s corrupt breath

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  7. AN EYE OPENER ACTUALY TO OUR GOVERNMENT IF THEY QUANTUM IS OFFERING SO MUCH TO MAINTAIN THE ROAD JUST GOES TO SHOW THE HUMENDOUS PROFITS THESE PEOPLE ARE RAPING FROM OUR SOILS AND YET THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE ARE STILL VULNERABLE.

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  8. (HH) Kaponya meanwhile is busy praying for a total collapse of the economy. But our ‘smart people of the Zambian enterprise’ as Mumba Senior would say, won’t let that happen.
    Mutati is a sharp economist compared to the Free Masson cattle wanker

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    • a 10 point plan on an A4 piece of toilet tissue paper cannot solve such problems.
      (HH) is a liar. The devil is a liar. (HH) is the devil. (HH) is Satan

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    • Never did I think of responding skinless head called kudos. How many times has this road been commissioned by a certain party? One man ( now a minister) even walked the entire length of in protest. Don’t for a minute in your skinless head thin FQM is doing it for free,Rebates of some sort is coming. Brainless skinless head!!!!

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    • Now the elections campaigns are over your life has become meaningless and void…you have clearly nothing to contribute!!

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    • The agony of being a PF kaponya is……

      You try to think and all you think of is HH, you try to write all that comes out is HH, you try to sleep and all you can dream of is HH…..

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    • @KUDOS please get a life, HH has not been mentioned in the article. You seem to hate him so much, did he grab your girlfriend? Leave him alone!

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    • He sent his trusted envoy Margaret Mwanakatwe to inspect whilst he nurses his hangover…really laughable…this is the selfsame crook who failed to pay back a CEEC loan.

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  9. Please do not be cheated this has nothing to do with public-private partnership, if you want me to show you a PPP contract i can give an example. This is a handout…FQM is probably just frustrusted by these thieves who have lamentably failed to complete this vital road yet they are the first ones to complain about tax collection.
    Imagine a crook like Margaret Mwanakatwe

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  10. #Kudos ban0k0 ic1ny0 ku dedenga dedenga kwati ni c1kanda yabwelenge,ukusasamina kwati li lemon,ukutalalilila kwati cibinmbi,ubukulu kwati mwau wakamimbya,ban0k0 amalempe ubebe ban0k0 ka bamyanga pamat4k0 kumatotokanyo bakafwe.

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    • My child stop insulting. Time we changed your diapers and eat your porridge. No more playing with the computer keyboard.

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  11. Mining Policy in totality need to be revisited for Zambia to develop, we can not overlook the mining sector leaving it in the hands of the private sector who are reaping huge profits whilst the majority are suffering.. As much as we appreciate the need for diversification towards the much talked about Agriculture. Mineral taxes paid to the government is not a benefit for this country. Currently, we are like a lazy farmer who leases a farm for his/her survival………….

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    • Even if you collected 100% can you trust these crooks who have no priprioties ..simply look at the AG report.

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    • @14 Chief Whipp..Your suggestion is good BUT WE ARE SO INDISCIPLINE that WE CANNOT RUN EVEN A SINGLE MINE!! We had NATIONALIZED MINES under ZCCM WE RUN THEM DOWN! Just see how WE ARE FAILING TO RUN ZAMTEL AND ZESCO! Making LOSSES FROM LUCRATIVE INDUSTRIES to a point where WE ARE NOW BEING PUSHED TO GIVE THEM AWAY!!

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  12. This important road should have been priority #1 with the RDA Roads program. Funds that went to build less economical benefitting roads such as mongu-kalabo road & chongwe-chiawa road should have completed the required 180km of new tarmac including toll gates somewhere along the route.The income realised from toll gates could have later been used to finish off the other roads

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  13. What has government done with the money(euro bond) that was meant for this road, everyone knows solwezi is contributing massively to the National treasury, did they take the money during campaigns to build roads in chitulika village, and forget the hand that is feeding them.

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  14. Quantum has just realized they dealing with a very incompetent government, they just have to take the bull by its horns.

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  15. Keep your eyes on this road, soon you will hear lungu and his gang of PF theives need to borrow money for the same road.

    That is the dirty trick they used over and over again borrowing in the name of lusaka driange and sewage works only to hear it was the US goverment and world Bank that put up the funds.

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  16. @14.1 Jay Jay, do you know the people mentioned in AG’s report? Government funds are misappropriated (stolen) by government officials the majority of the controlling officers in the civil service are actually UPND members? You don’t agree? Wait until government begins to take action soon on the AG report. UPND donkeys will then politicise it and cry victimisation when the details and names come out. The donkeys will have conveniently forgotten the AG report which they are quoting now. Hiho hiho hiho hiho hiho.

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    • This is sheer stupidity. UPND has really caused sleepless nights for the entire PF thugs. Just know this; no matter how much you demonise the UPND, they won the election and Lungu fraudulently installed himself. The only reason you keep mentioning the UPND is because you respect their resolve to transform Zambia. Their election victory was robbed and it is a known fact. You are failing to justify your hold on power because you got it illegally and you think by demonising the legitimately elected party (UPND) people will forget. No, we can never forget.

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  17. I am convinced that it is their obligation to do those works , reason being that they are the end users; most of their earth moving machines are the destroyers of those roads .
    It is imperative that they have an input in the repair of the infrastructure to so they could move with out problems , these guys reap huge profits from the mines.
    Mining hasn’t benefited Zambians, I think the wise thing to do is not promise mining but farming nations that have concentrated on farming have done better than Zambia , for instance Kenya , Ethiopia , far many others .

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    • Like I have said elsewhere these guys have gone into a similar deal with the Katanga government. Ask Katumbi for details although he is now in jail

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    • Here Here,
      My dad who worked for 16 years in Zed, and eats, drinks and sleeps Zambia, has a plan to revitalise agriculture in Kafubu Block, like when the Israelis were there. In addition, he has plans to cultivate the 2 banks of the Kafulafuta River. A 15 kms stretch in the vicinity of Miputu. He plans to use water from the river for flood irrigation downslope

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  18. After borrowing TEN BILLION DOLLARS and collecting another THREE BILLION DOLLARS in taxes from this company PF have still failed to complete this road?????

    Lungu and his gang of thieves are in line for first prize at being the most useless and corrupt government in the world!

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  19. USD50,000,000 divided by USD200,000 (the price of one Luxury SUV which Mr Mutati and Hon Mwanakatwe are in) is equivalent to 250 latest SUVs which sadly the govt continues to buy and then sell at a low price to the same ungrateful civil servants after 5 years of use that hang pictures of HH on their office walls! Shame!!!
    Please let’s ban the use of Luxury SUVs by govt, they are expensive and serve no purpose except enriching Toyota and other car manufacturers!

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  20. Ctn what I’m saying is my govt inorder to be relevant and fight poverty must start from the top govt officials- we expect you top guys to sacrifice your perks as well! You are often the same ones that jump camp first! How much money did the likes of Scott, GBV, Mwaliteta and Sichinga gobble whilst they were ministers in form of vehicles, allowances etc??? Millions and then to jump camp! Ungrateful cretins which is why all top govt officials should sacrifice their perks! NO MORE LUXURY SUVS when the rest of Zambians are sacrificing!

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  21. I was thinking
    Was this a voluntary gesture by First Quantum? Or were they coerced and threatened?

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  22. Solwezi township roads what is the way forward,money has been released i dont how many times and nothing is happening.What is lucky mulusa saying about this?

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  23. Editor,
    The last paragraph is intiguing! How can we be courting the IMF for US$1B for 3 years if only one mine company can pay US$1.74 in 2015? This is more than half our national budget! Please check these public stants when you are given these numbers by “spin doctors”. I imagin that at an average copper price of SU$4500, Kansanshi pay all the proceeds to GRZ including the revenue from gold figures reported here…… OMG! not even a charitable organisation would match that! Please educate me if I am missing a point.

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