KCM polluting the environment by over 10 times the statutory limit

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Farmer Langsu Mumbelunga in his polluted field near the Mushishima stream, Zambia. Photograph: John Vidal for the Observer

The Zambia Environmental Management Agency has issued two separate Compliance and Environmental Restoration Orders to Konkola Copper Mines to address various environmental issues by end of this month.

And documents obtained from KCM’s Legal Department show that the mining giant has been emitting sulphur dioxide and cadmium which are 10.3 times and 13.41 times above statutory limits respectively.

According to leaked copies of the orders, ZEMA now wants KCM to take measures to reduce or eliminate the risk on human health and the environment.

In 2015 an eight year long legal battle by 2000 contaminated residents finally ended when the Supreme Court of Zambia confirmed the High Court’s opinion that KCM was guilty of ‘gross recklessness’ and damaging villagers’ health. However, the $2 million in damages earlier awarded by the High Court was removed, leaving the residents short of real justice. Subsequently London law firms filed for damages from Vedanta Resources on behalf of approximately 3000 of the contaminated villagers, and the shocking story of years of pollution has reached the Guardian and BBC

In its Environmental Restoration Order dated 3rd March 2017, ZEMA has ordered KCM to complete the water recycling project at the Mutimpa Tailings Dam to prevent the continuation of or cause of water pollution especially with high levels of sulphates in the affluent by the 31st Marcy 2017.

The agency has also ordered KCM to cease the discharge of affluent from Mutimpa Tailings Dam containing regulated parameters that are above the respective statutory limits by 31st Marcy 2017.
It has also ordered KCM to submit to a detailed plan of work for de-silting of the Chingola stream, Mushishima stream and Mutimpa Stream highlighting in particular the de-silting process and the management of the generated silt/waste by 15th March 2017.

ZEMA further wants KCM to restore the flow channels of the three streams namely, Chingola Stream, Mushishima Stream and Muntimpa Stream by de-silting their stream beds by 30th April 2017.

The agency has also ordered KCM to develop and implement a programme for continuous de-silting of the three streams and the Pollution Control Dam to prevent their continuation of cause of water pollution by 15th March 207.

File:Scientists sample toxic sludge seeping from the Muntimpa tailing dam into the environment

It also wants the mining giant to conduct the Environmental Impact Assessment of Chingola Stream, Mushishima Stream and Hippo Pool by the 31st day of May 2017.

And according to the Compliance Order dated 1st March 2017, ZEMA has ordered KCM to comply in full with the conditions of the Emission Licence number “NDL/EMM/00708/Z10/2014”.
The agency has now ordered KCM to immediately ensure that the effluent and emission parameters are compliant with their respective statutory limits especially sulphur dioxide and cadmium emissions which were 10.3 times and 13.41 times above statutory limits respectively as the time of the returns for July to December 2016.

It also wants ZEMA to immediately cease discharging the Pregnant Liquor Solution and the pollution Control Dam.
ZEMA has also ordered KCM to install online monitoring equipment to monitor all regulated parameters and procure and install a monitoring equipment for mercury with a detention limit lower than the statutory limit of 0.002 mg/1 by 30th April 2017.

The environmental agency also wants KCM to develop a continuous programme of de-silting of the Mushishima Stream and submit to the Agency by the 15th March 2017.
It also wants the Chingola based firm to conduct investigations on why the ground water quality were non-compliant for pH, Manganese, TSS and Co and submit the report to ZEMA by 31st March 2017 and develop a programme to clean up the ground water contamination and submit the programme to ZEMA by 15th March 2017.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. The president is doing a tremendous job.

    He will
    Sort this problem with KCM

    Trust in Mr Lungu.

    Thanks

    BB2014,16

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    • Please repossess this company and give it to a zambian. ZCCM please take this back. I dont care whether it is GBM or Kavindele who gets it as long as it is a Zambian.

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    • This has been blown out proportion. Recently Thames Water was fined millions for pollution.

      But KCM employees hundreds of employees and its a catch 22, if you fine them they wont pay workers. Well if I was part of KCM, that is what I would say.

      The bottom line is, this should be ignored and the Government must continue building roads, Hospitals, shopping Malls and create several hundreds of job which they have created

      What I know is, unemployment has DROPPED

      Such headline, take away the effort the Government is been doing in creating jobs.

      I am a PhD scholar

      Thanks

      BB2014,16

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    • @mutosha your comments sounds like you recently visited Zambia and saw that what you read on the social media is contrary to what is in the ground. Zambia indeed has been painted rough by these online medium.

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    • Because you all let them do it and then write articles about it! Stop this shi.t before it kill all of you. oh wait, I forgot you are Zambians and want govt to do everything for you!

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    • Hehehe but the saying holds true—-you can take the monkey out the Bush but can’t take the Bush out the monkey.

      Look at them above, willing environmental destruction of their country for shopping malls and roads…!

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  2. So these fools with all the money they are making from OUR copper they can’t follow proper enviromental laws and procedures? They damage our roads with their heavy vehicles and now they are damaging our rivers and therefore our health and lives.I say Nationalize or close the mines!!!

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  3. Due to corruption they cant’t be touched. Elo ba Lusaka Times ni ‘Statutory’ noti ifyo mulembele

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  4. At least we have a body and systems that are able to speak for the public. That is very important. The next step is implementation of the recommendations by our statutory board. once these two are done we are home and dry.

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  5. I dont understand why the $2M compensation was removed. So their area was polluted and KCM got away scot free!!!! Only in Zambia. This should be a national scandal.

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  6. The Indian crook already donated one suitcase of dollars to Lazy and PF when he visited him last week at State House.

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  7. This needs nationwide mobilisation. We Want Our Mines Back! Let’s challenge our gov’t on our rights to Mines wealth. There is corruption and really it’s not just PF, it’s just greedy wealthy Zambians as well. They want to cut off the mines to private hands to benefit a few. This is systemic and historical. People have been lied to and short shriven. These Mining conglomerates have our gov’ts in their brown envelopes. Citizen action, NOT politicised nonsense by deceptive and violent opposition . Let’s go!!

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  8. Zambian Government went to sleep 30 years ago. These foreign companys will kill us all, The whole nation is polluted, can some one check with Kalumbira mine in Solwezi, they have polluted musangezhi river that is just 15 km away from Kabompo river.

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  9. Ries, Ries and more Ries.
    This is the competition like Glencore and First Quantum trying to discredit KCM. They are jearous that Mr Agarwal had a meeting with the President at state house. A feat Glasenberg and Pascall failed to achieve!

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    • Corrupt chap who went to corrupt the spineless ECL so that Kcm is not pursured over the pollution. the chingola residents had to take the matter of pollution to England because Pf was in the pocket of Kcm and ordered the judges to rule against the chingola people thats how far corruption has gone in plot 1 were a president sides with a company that is killing the Zambian people by polluting the rivers.Never put a pauper in state house they will be corruptable like ECL who is corrupt to the core he has stolen wherever has has worked

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  10. DO ZAMBIANS REALLY CARE ABOUT THEIR ENVIRONMMENT? ISN’T THERE A GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT THAT MONITORS THINGS SUCH AS MAN-MADE POLLUTION, MAN-MADE EROSION, MAN-MADE DEFORESTATION, ETC. IF SO WHERE ARE THEY WHEN ALL THESE THINGS ARE HAPPENING? DO THEY JUST GET PAID FOR SITTING THEIR AR3SES ON CHAIR IN THEIR OFFICES? ANY NORMAL COUNTRY CAN NEVER LET SUCH A THING TO HAPPEN. ALL ZAMBIA’S RIVERS USED TO BE CLEAN. BUT, I DOUBT IF THERE’S ANY CLEAN RIVER IN ZAMBIA. I MEAN CLEAN AS TO EVEN DRINK WATER STRAIT FROM THE RIVER WITH NO HEALTH SCARE, AT ALL.

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  11. Why not impose fines for everyday the instructions arent adhered to. Or withhold vat refunds until compliance is achieved. Mines need money so hit em where it hurts. In the bank balance.
    While on this blog a yone tell me why we never hear about gold which can also be extracted when copper smelted.
    What are out gold forex incomes.

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  12. This is much like the Nigerian DeltA Region where oil leaks have devastated their land and when they complain, their leaders like Ken Saro Wiwa are executed. You Lambas are foolish, this pollution will kill you all sooner than later if you do not stop these Indians from urinating on your faces like this.

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  13. You hit the nail on the head Ngombala.This government was bribed off a long time ago.The bribe was raised last week when Agarwal visited state house.Its not the Lambas.The Kafue river traverses Zambia.So you too are affected.Its the responsibility of ALL ZAMBIANS against the government’s inertia.ZEMA has done all it should but their efforts are in vain because the HE is in it full time.Remember the entrance fee to state house is US 200.000 for foreign investors.Meantime our battles are being waged in the UK for us by fearless people in our former colonial master/mistress.Zambians are cowards.

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  14. The PF government has no capacity to deal with the persistent issue of KCM pollution of rivers and dams.
    This government incompetency is alarming and detrimental to Zambia to attempt to deal with this issue to them is to chase owners of KCM if they can not bribe them. If a public up roar results, PF will threaten and deport owners of KCM as we experienced with Kambwili deportation threats of Chinese doctors. This is because PF government practices unconventional methods of governance. Failure to govern.

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