First Quantum Minerals’ Kalumbila Minerals Limited has handed over the Ntambu Community Game Reserve to Chief Ntambu’s chiefdom of Mwinilunga District in North-Western Province to establishing conservation-based economies around the West Lunga Management Area.
The game reserve is the only community-owned game reserve in Zambia, wholly owned and managed by the community which also has total wildlife user rights.
Speaking during the handover on Saturday, FQM Country Manager General Kingsley Chinkuli said the game reserve will be restocked with a starter population of 100 impalas and various antelope species, an investment of about US$150,000 over the next two years.
Our pledge to tackle climate change and preserve natural habitats has borne yet another good fruit which is the restocking of the game reserve in the Ntambu chiefdom,Gen. Chinkuli said.
Gen. Chinkuli also said that the mining firm, through the Trident Foundation, has also invested over $4.5 million in conservation activities in and around the West Lunga Management Area since 2014.
First Quantum Minerals Limited prides itself in creating initiatives that serve as excellent models in many spheres of mine operations in Zambia, and in this particular case the rehabilitation of Game Reserve Areas in order to directly benefit the communities in the area of it operations and also Zambia at large,he said.
He added that away from the conservation values that the game reserve will serve, it will also provide spin-off business opportunities in hunting and photographic tourism in the area.
The mining firm’s environmental strategies are based on the much needed economic value in the country, while running its business in a socially and ethically accountable way, as well as ensuring lasting and sustainable developments,Gen. Chinkuli said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Lawrence Sichalwe extended his gratitude to the Trident Foundation on behalf of the Zambian government.
He said government considers the wildlife estates network as a valuable ecological asset because of its environmental benefits to game management area, and provide for community welfare and economic activities.
Let me assure Kalumbila Minerals’ Trident Foundation and all present stakeholders, of the government’s commitment to these developmental activities. I have no doubt that these efforts will, in the medium to long-term, have a positive impact on the lives of our people as well as provide valuable policy lessons for the government,he said.
Mr. Sichalwe further assured attendants at the handover event that government is committed to such development activities and will continue supporting cooperating partners.
Furthermore, His Royal Highness Chief Ntambu thanked the Trident Foundation for the provision of financial, material and management support towards the realization of the project.
The event was graced by Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Hon. Lawrence Sichalwe MP and attended by His Royal Highness Chief Ntambu, Senior Chief Sailunga and senior government officials and representatives of the of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW).