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Anthony Mukutuma’s Mining Journey  

Anthony Mukutuma, currently the General Manager of Kansanshi at First Quantum Minerals (FQM), shares the fascinating journey of his successful and diverse mining career around the world. 

Mr. Mukutuma, overseeing the S3 pit and smelter expansion at Kansanshi, reveals a story marked by hard work, open-mindedness, and a willingness to step out of his comfort zone.

Born in Kabwe, a thriving mining town in Zambia, Mr. Mukutuma’s early exposure to mining activities ignited his interest in the industry. Originally planning to study mining engineering, he later opted for chemical engineering, providing a broader perspective on mining.

Securing a scholarship from Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM), Mr. Mukutuma studied chemical engineering at the University of Birmingham in the UK. His venture to a foreign land at 18 marked the beginning of an adventurous and transformative experience.

Upon completing his degree, Mr. Mukutuma joined ZCCM’s mine in Chililabombwe. His career took a significant turn when Anglo American acquired the mine, leading him to work at Anglo American Research Laboratories in South Africa. 

This exposure to a diverse range of projects and collaboration with experienced professionals fueled Mr. Mukutuma’s passion for continuous learning.

After returning to Zambia, a twist of fate led him to First Quantum Minerals through a temporary assignment to assist with a chemical issue at Bwana Mkubwa Mine. The offer to stay and work with FQM marked the beginning of a long and fulfilling association.

What appealed to Mr. Mukutuma about FQM was its entrepreneurial culture, granting employees autonomy and the freedom to innovate without excessive red tape. This ethos, rooted in an entrepreneurial mindset, continues to define FQM’s workplace culture.

His journey with FQM saw Mr. Mukutuma take on various roles, from a senior metallurgist to a plant manager at Bwana Mkubwa Mine. In 2007, he ventured to Australia, working in the Perth office on design projects for process plants, including Kansanshi and Frontier Mine in the DRC. This global exposure and experience with FQM’s entrepreneurial spirit resonated with Mr. Mukutuma.

A shift to operational roles led him to become a plant manager for a greenfield project in Finland, followed by a general manager position at Mauritanian Copper Mines in North Africa. Living in the Arctic Circle and the desert, Mr. Mukutuma’s adaptability and commitment to operational excellence shone through.

In 2020, during the global pandemic, Mr. Mukutuma’s journey took him back to Zambia as the General Manager of Kansanshi. The decision to return to Zambia, orchestrated by FQM’s director of operations, Rudi Badenhorst, proved timely and aligned with Mr. Mukutuma’s desire to be closer to home during challenging times.

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