Environmental organizations condemn Minister’s approval of mining project

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Mining project-Zambia – The Zambia Community Natural Resources Management Forum (ZCBNRM), representing over 100 environmental organizations in Zambia, has registered its disappointment with the decision of the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Harry Kalaba, to approve the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of the Kangaluwi Mining Project by Zambezi Resources Limited, saying the project has been rejected by many stakeholders and will be a national tragedy.

In September 2012, Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) rejected the proposed large scale mining activities in Lower Zambezi National Park based on solid technical grounds.

“As Civil Society Organisations, we are re-engaging government using all available avenues as provided by the Laws of Zambia to find a sustainable solution to this issue. We are calling upon well meaning Zambians to rally behind this noble cause as the EIS did not even meet required local and international standards,” a statement released by ZCBNRM said.

Zambezi was granted a large scale mining licence for its Kangaluwi copper project, 180km east of the capital, Lusaka, by government in March 2011 on the condition of approval of an Environmental Impact Statement, but ZEMA in September 2012 said it did not approve the EIS.

Kalaba, who recently announced the approval of the EIS of Kangaluwi Mining Project, acknowledged that there were adequate cost effective technologies and methods available to address all potential impacts that could arise.

He also said that wildlife management in the area will be enhanced and conserved by the management scheme proposed in the submission by Zambezi.

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  1. There are four main types of mining impacts on water quality. Acid Mine Drainage
    Acid Rock Drainage (ARD) is a natural process whereby sulphuric acid is produced when
    sulphides in rocks are exposed to air and water. Heavy Metal Contamination & Leaching
    Heavy metal pollution is caused when such metals as arsenic, cobalt, copper, cadmium, lead,
    silver and zinc contained in excavated rock or exposed in an underground mine come in contact
    with water. Processing Chemicals Pollution. This kind of pollution occurs when chemical agents (such as cyanide or sulphuric acid used by mining companies to separate the target mineral from the ore) spill, leak, or leach from the mine site into nearby water bodies. These chemicals can be highly toxic to humans and wildlife. Erosion and Sedimentation. Mineral development disturbs soil and rock in the course of constructing and maintaining roads, open pits, and waste impoundments. In the absence of adequate prevention and control strategies, erosion of the exposed earth may carry substantial amounts of sediment into streams, rivers and lakes. Excessive sediment can clog riverbeds and smother watershed vegetation, wildlife habitat and aquatic organisms. Are you are of this? Short-term mine, long-term costs. Short term gain, long term losses.

    Changes in laws, technologies and attitudes have begun to address some of the most immediate threats posed by mineral development, but there are still many areas of mining practices and regulations that need to be addressed. Has anything been discussed with the Australian government if anything were to happen such as them breaking the law? For the sake of current and future generations we need to safeguard the purity and quantity of our water against irresponsible mineral development. We need to ensure the best pollution prevention strategies are employed in cases where the risks can be managed. We also need to recognize that in some places mining should not be allowed to proceed because the identified risks to other resources, such as water, are too great. Why is Zambia going ahead with this project?

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