Vice president Guy Scott has assured Mopani Copper Mines(MCM) that Government will not disappoint the mining firm following the shut down of its leach plant by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency(ZEMA) two weeks ago.
Dr. Scott said that there are no mad people in Government that would kill a cow that produces milk. He said this after a fact finding mission at Mufulira West Mining Project in BUTONDO Township, where MOPANI has been accused of acid pollution.
Decisions by ZEMA have in the past have suffered political interference on pretext of trying to keep investors. So far, the mining firm has ignored ZEMA recommendations and has waged war in the media through statements claiming that 350 workers will be affected with the shut down.
At the beginning of this month, ZEMA ordered Mopani copper Mine to suspend part of its operations at a Leach plant. ZEMA said it had inspected the site and that heap leaching—a process that involves metals being leached from a heap of crushed ore by applying acid to it—couldn’t be resumed until the company had completed eight recommended measures to reduce its effect on the surrounding area.
So far, the mining firm has ignored ZEMA recommendations and has waged war in the media through statements claiming that 350 workers will be affected with the shut down.
ZEMA said local residents in Butondo had complained that acid mist from the leaching process causes health problems and they were seeking compensation from Mopani. The Butondo community complained of noise from the crusher, cracking of houses, vibrations, and dust, the statement said.
“According to health records obtained from Clinics in Butondo, statistics show an increase in the number of cases for pulmonary, throat, nose and ear ailments which were captured between October and December 2011 as compared with the 2008 data for the same months,” the statement said.