The Zambia Environmental Management Agency has directed Konkola Copper Mines to stop any plans to process the copper concentrates it imported from Chile which contains high levels of Arsenic.
ZEMA Spokesman Ireen Chipili said KCM must submit to ZEMA, the full programme for exporting the said material to Chile or other disposal and smelting facilities outside Zambia by September 18th 2015.
Mrs Chipili said KCM must export the said copper concentrates to Chile or to other disposal and smelting facilities outside Zambia by 15th October 2015.
She said the environmental watchdog also wants the full report on the export submitted to it and the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection by November 15th 2015.
“ZEMA takes this opportunity to remind all licensed facilities to adhere to the conditions stipulated by environmental law and any other relevant laws and uphold environmental friendly practices,” Mrs Chipili said.
She added, “ZEMA wishes to reiterate that it is a requirement of the law from all development projects to go through the Environmental Impact Assessment process and to adhere fully to the conditions of approval were a project is approved. It is an offence to conduct business activities contrary to the provisions of the Environmental Management Act No. 12 2011.”
Meanwhile, Konkola Copper Mines has confirmed receiving a letter from the ZEMA advising the company to re-export the Chilean copper concentrates KCM imported in the second quarter of 2015.
KCM Public Relations and Communications Manager Shapi Shachinda said the firm will fully comply with the advice by ZEMA and is currently working on logistics to take the concentrate out of the country.