Sunday, March 3, 2024

President tours FQM’s sentinel mine


President Edgar Chagwa Lungu with management and staff at First Quantum Minerals’ Sentinel Mine in Kalumbila, along with dignitaries including Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Hon. Richard Musukwa (left), and FQM Country Manager General Kingsley Chinkuli (second right) and Sentinel Mine General Manager Morris Rowe.

President Edgar Chagwa Lungu visited First Quantum Minerals’ Sentinel Mine at Kalumbila this week to see for himself the challenges faced in operating one of the nation’s most strategically important assets.
President Lungu inspected Sentinel’s main pit and processing plant and met with Zambian management and staff before touring Kalumbila town, a 1,300-house town built by First Quantum at a cost of US$74 million.
“We came to see the challenges they are facing so we partner them well, and partner them with knowledge. It’s remarkable. But they have to tell us the challenges otherwise we won’t dream in Lusaka.” said Mr Lungu,.
The Head of State observed first-hand the company’s US$2.3 billion investment and how that has translated into 2,800 direct jobs and a further 2,500 indirect jobs, and significant royalties paid to the government, with major economic and social development in the communities surrounding the mine.
He was also appraised of the challenges of mining a low-grade ore body, which yields just 0.5 percent copper compared with an industry average on the Copperbelt of around 2 percent.
The mine moves a massive 450,000 tonnes of material a day to recover around 150,000 tonnes of low-grade copper ore; this operation costs in excess of US$50 million a month to run, consuming over 270,000 litres of gasoil a day and spending around US$4 million on steel mill balls per month.
The stability of electricity supply and competitive tarrifs are extremely important, First Quantum Zambia Country Manager General Kingsley Chinkuli told the President.  Moreover, the company continues to work hard in partnering with ZESCO to energise a second power line that will further-stabilise electricity supply to the whole Zambian mining sector as well as domestic consumers.  This, along with a reliable supply of very high quality gasoil required to operate the mine’s state-of-the-art equipment, remain critical factors for Sentinel’s continued success, added General Chinkuli.
Hiring sufficient numbers of skilled Zambians to operate the mine efficiently is also a challenge, given the narrow margins and high-tech nature of the mine, said General Chinkuli, who emphasised the importance the company places on the up-skilling and training of Zambian artisans; and he welcomed reassurances of support from the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development in this respect.
The President also held discussions with mine management over the status of the approval of the Kalumbila Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ), which will diversify the district’s economic base and ensure its sustainability beyond the life of the mine.
Speaking on the side-lines of the visit, Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Hon. Richard Musukwa assured mine managers of his ministry’s continued commitment to support First Quantum’s Zambia operations and help to address any challenges.

President Edgar Chagwa Lungu holds a bay while chatting with a family in one of the houses in FQM’s Kalumbila town.
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu inspects the processing plant at First Quantum Minerals’ Sentinel Mine in Kalumbila.


  1. minimum PPE required. hard hut, eye protection and safety boots should have been drawn for the tour.

    • When its time to wear PPE he does not but when he is laying a brick on foundation or commisioning a site he will wear full PPE kit….FQM please do not make compromises with safety.

    • Mr. Lungu is wasting public money on his visionless trips.

      When a manager has no vision, no plan , no clue of the job profile he resorts to gimmicks to be in the news and the gullible and bootlickers clap to get crumbs.

  2. Now Lazy Lungu has gone to FQM with his corrupt State House Advisers you will see all the tax issues disappear like a fart in the air!

    • Ba UPND Jay Jay. How do you call person who always in the news doing something physical Lazy. I mean, all HH does is sit and cry about Lungu no action. And he has lost six times, twice to Lungu. How lazy is that. Lungu won on first and Second attempts, very efficient, not lazy at all. Laziness (also known as indolence) is disinclination to activity or exertion despite having the ability to act or exert oneself. Lungu is far from this, a good example of laziness is HH & who just sit and cry every time. So Jay Jay stop lying to yourself.

    • Being in the news when you are in control of state broadcasting machinery does not constitute to hard work…I wouldn’t care less what HH and his party does so don’t try that on me!!

  3. Lungu should tour Misisi or Chibolya too ,these are places where poverty has deep mines with shafts of raw sewage.

    • Lazy Lungu is like a televangelists who invites the sick to come to his shows through strict selection process but will never ever go into a hospital and heal patients.

  4. We appreciate the visiting of the president but the ministers he came with never gave him a chance to hear peoples views even after persuading them heavily.

  5. The mine minister is not suitable for that job.he was running away from people who could give him clear information about the mine..Amos Chanda was told the truth about the mine yet he paid no attention. These are the same leaders making lungu look bad.

  6. Wina privatization thief will NEVER be in the story like our beloved hard-working president! Let us develop this thing! He will have no talking points come 2021! We will send him into retirement!

  7. Lazy bum insolent son of a lazy bum tribal polygamist father and chief hooligan and bully of the tribal Horganization still can’t learn a lesson from the life of Chanda Chimba III.

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