Standard Chartered Bank embraces Zambia’s mining sector
By Zambia Informer
Standard Chartered Bank remains committed to assisting in the development of the mining sector in Zambia as evidenced by the support rendered to one of the greenfield projects-Kalumbila, a unit of First Quantum Minerals Ltd., says Zambia’s Chief executive officer, Andrew Okai.
“We are committed to working in Zambia and assist in the development of the mining industry on old and new projects……..we were, we are and have remained instrumental in the financing of one of the Greenfield projects which is contributed greatly to the growth of the industry, so, we are here for good.” He added during the bank’s 110-year-anniversary celebrations in Lusaka.
In 2012 the international financial institution with operations in several parts of Africa with over US$3 million investment in corporate social responsibility extended over US$1 billion to Zambia’s mining project to bolster growth of the sector.
It plans to invest another US$800,000 to stamp its authority in Zambia where it has been assisting various communities on various projects including sight, where people whose vision was impaired would receive treatment at full cost of the financial institution.
In April 2012, global leading financial institution-Standard Chartered Bank announced the signing of a US$1 billion senior term and revolving facilities agreement with First Quantum Minerals Ltd for Kansanshi Mining PLC, holder of First Quantum’s 80 percent owned Kansanshi copper-gold project in Zambia.
According to a statement, Standard Chartered Bank was one of the Mandated Lead Arrangers for the US$1 billion revolving facility agreement together with four other international financial institutions. Kansanshi is the single largest copper mining operation in Africa.
The mine has gone from producing 110,000 tons of copper in 2005 when it initially started production to the current production capacity of 250,000 tons of copper and more than 100,000 ounces of gold per annum – making it the 8th largest copper mine in the world.
In 2010, the mine contributed 28 percent of Zambia’s total production of 852,566 and a multistaged expansion project aims to increase copper output capacity at Kansanshi to 400,000 tons by 2015.
And Standard Chartered Bank has pledged to invest a staggering US$1.5 billion in innovation of a wider range of products to ensure it retains its reputation as the leading global lender in Zambia, in Africa and beyond, having bagged over four awards for best bank, among other at international award programmes.
And Okai says Standard Chartered Bank is committed to the development and realignment of the Zambian economy with support to the growth of Zambia’s Small Medium Entrepreneurs, having embracing over 8,000 SMEs that are benefiting from various loan schemes offered at concessional rates, which has since been appreciated by the Central Bank as a driver of the small entrepreneurs’ growth.
According to the bank’s lending profile to the SMEs in Zambia, over US$300 million has been disbursed for various projects that will enhance growth of the emerging businesses as the bank remains operational in Zambia over the past 110 years, having opened its first branch in Kalomo district in Southern Zambia.
Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Bank has lined up a series of programmes to commemorate 110 years of its existence in Zambia with pledge for increased investment, more job creation as well as improved service delivery to its customers, according Okai.——Zambia Informer