In what will, if successful, be the first step in ensuring that qualified Zambians are considered for top jobs in line with their skills and abilities since mining started in Zambia over 80 years, Toronto listed miner, First Quantum Minerals Limited, has taken a bold step.
According to the company’s forecast, FQML, one of Zambia’s major copper and gold producer, with investments in its Zambian operations in excess of over US$2 billion, the miner says plans are underway to re-look at the employment policies-where many investors especially in the mining industry ‘import labour’ from their countries of origin-First Quantum seeks to instead appoint Zambians to fill technical and management positions at its US$2 billion Sentinel Mine.
The company, in a statement issued on the sidelines of the just ended fourth Zambia International Mining conference in Lusaka held 24-25 june, says the company has decided to take this step to ensure skilled locals benefit from the nation’s mineral wealth flow to Zambians in a significant and sustained manner, says its recruitment officer at Sentinel Mine, Tracy Campbell.
Accordingly, the move is in line with FQM’s Putting Zambians in technical and management positions at the new mine is one vivid way of doing it. The company was sparing no effort in an effort to attract skilled Zambians locally and internationally.
FQM already has a major effort underway to woo Zambian metallurgists, geologists and other specialists. According to the statement by Sentinel Mine, lying 120 kilometres west of Solwezi, had cutting-edge mining engineering equipment requiring specialist know-how which it feels Zambians-skilled are competent to handle. The mine also requires maintenance of its two mobile in-pit crushers that militate against fuel costs while increasing output.
The statement did not outline further details on how the programme will be undertaken apart from highlighting the desires of the company to tap into skilled Zambian human resources.