BARRICK Lumwana Mining says it has spent US3.9 billion in its 10-year operations in Zambia.
Lumwana’s executive director Nathan Chishimba said the company had spent the amount on the purchase of goods and services.
“In the last ten years, the company has spent more than US3.9 billion in procuring goods and services in the company,” Chishimba said at the Copperbelt Agricultural and Mining Expo. He said part of the US $3.9 billion, $3 million had been on various Zambian companies as a form of empowerment. Chishimba said 97 per cent of Lumwana’s employees were Zambian, 48 per cent of them from the local community.
He said this was aimed at providing employment in its operational areas and plough back to the community under corporate social responsibility. Chishimba said every Lumwana employee was participating in the employee share ownership plan, thereby enabling the company to have a unique relationship with its workers.
He said each employee was a shareholder in the mine and this was meant to encourage them to work harder so as not to affect their own livelihoods.
“Part of the money has been spent on the Zambian companies which we feel is true empowerment and being a partner to the community, we are also a unique partner to our employees as they are shareholders in the mine,” Chishimba said.
He said the workers’ accrued taxes were also taken care of when dividends were declared.
Chishimba said the company had also spent US $13 billion in community projects aimed at improving local infrastructure and education around the community. He said the mining company had also improved teaching skills and had provided education scholarships to most girls in the area.
Chishimba said 2,000 women around its operational area had also been empowered and more were expected to benefit as the mining project advances.
“In our local community, we have invested more than US$13 billion in various community projects aimed at improving local infrastracture education, health and other community infrastracture. One of the key pillars of support is providing education. We have upgraded teaching skills in most of the schools around our mining areas. Another aspect of our educational scholarships is targeted at providing support to female children. We have also focused on female empowerment. In this area, we have succeeded in empowerimg over 2,000 women in the last ten years and more are to benefit,” said Chishimba.