Government rejects toxic imported copper concentrates

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Lands Minister Ngimbu is being welcomed by a Youth represeatitve during Youth Day celebratons in Solwezi.
Lands Minister Ngimbu is being welcomed by a Youth representative during Youth Day celebrations in Solwezi.

Government has with immediate effect denied Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) permission to process about 2,000 tonnes of imported copper concentrate as it contains high percent levels of Arsenic, a toxic substance.

Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Christabel Ngimbu, says the decision has been arrived at following inspection of the said concentrate which was found to be containing 4 per cent of Arsenic.

Mrs Ngimbu says the levels of Arsenic, which was found in the said consignment, is seven times more than that found in copper concentrates in Zambia which averages around 0.5 per cent.

The minister charged that the elevated levels of Arsenic in the said imported copper concentrate would pose a serious environmental health and safety risks owing to the toxic nature of the substance.

In May this year, KCM imported into Zambia about 2,000 tonnes of the said copper concentrate in question for processing at its KCM Smelter at Nchanga in Chingola.

And Mrs Ngimbu has urged KCM to make necessary required arrangements to return the said consignment to the country of origin.

Mrs Ngimbu has further advised all relevant government agencies to closely monitor the situation.

She said government is committed to ensure that the people and the environment are protected from all environmental risks associated with mining.

Mrs Ngimbu has meanwhile called on all companies in the country to adhere to operational laws on the importation of goods that are toxic in nature.

14 COMMENTS

  1. +3
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    Thats govermance at its best,not beating about the bush on straight forward issue

    • +2
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      I think this is the only sensible and normal person in the proven failures (PF) group. I think she is UPND or FDD mentality but just has the PF membership.

  2. +3
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    @Mulenga you are ,on how and who gave Kcm the permit to import this consignment of copper.Government is just trying to save face after finding out that Arsenic is dangerous in high concentrations.How can you allow a wrong when you have not put in place measures of treating ore in Lumwana which has high uranium concentrates?It’s unfair and irresponsible for government to have allowed this to happen in the first place.We have a lot of copper in Zambia and at Nchanga and Konkola so why should these chaps be allowed to import copper and create jobs in Chile.

  3. vote

    I think this is the only sensible and normal person in the proven failures (PF) group. I think she is UPND or FDD mentality but just has the PF membership.

  4. vote

    I salute the government for this.
    Let that concentrate be smelted at Tsumeb in Namibia, where they have facilities to collect and bag arsenic for sale. Fine particulate matter will take attached arsenic into the air and drop it on the surrounding ground. Such soil contamination will last several generations. Well done!

  5. vote

    It’s still stupid as the concentrate is already in the country. It shouldn’t have past through any border at all

  6. vote

    I salute PF for taking this decision. But why did PF allow the consignment pass thru the border. tests should have been done at the border before allowing them in the country. with all the copper in Zambia, why order these concentrates from Chile? I smell corruption. nevertheless, this is a commendable decision. If they had not asked for permission to bring it in, they should be penalised financially.

  7. vote

    Rubbish why did you allow this in the fist place how can a mining company import concentrate in a number 2 copper produce in Africa

  8. vote

    Hahaha, may be they have already processed part of it; May be some Zambian has already got a brown envelop over it; May be the govt official will soon retract their position and get the concentrate be treated; May it will be sent back and it will come back door; May be it will be kept where it is now; May be…. May be…. I hope we have done the right move backed by all concerned parties, not to treat such concentrate and send it back where it came from. Whoever made such decision to bring in such concentrates….deport him.

  9. vote

    Good job. I am proud of you. Now don’t allow any lunatic in GRZ to reverse this decision.

  10. vote

    According to MetalBulletinDaily of 30th June, the chaps imported 5000 dmt. Where has the 3000 gone?

  11. vote

    Why on earth was KCM allowed to bring in this poison in the first place? Some of us smelt a rat from the. Very beginning? How could Chile export this concentrate if it was worth a lot of money? They could have processed it! Now let us not cheer that the government has stopped the processing. Call me a cynic if you wish! It will go quiet and just when we have forgotten about it some official will get a brown envelope and the copper concentrate will be processed. Then the health problems will begin. By the time we realize, too late!

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