Sunday, June 23, 2024

Mining project in Lower Zambezi to now go ahead-UPND

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The UPND Government has authorized mining in the prestigious Lower Zambezi National Park after a protracted legal battle.

The move to proceed with the government marks another 360-degree turn by President Hakainde Hichilema’s government on mining in the National Parks.

On 26th January 2014, President Hichilema opposed the decision to allow mining in the Lower Zambezi and promised not to allow the project to proceed if elected President.

But Green Economy and Environment Minister Collins Nzovu revealed in an interview that the controversial project to mine Copper in the game park will proceed but under strict adherence to measures set by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency.

Mr. Nzovu said the measures are aimed at limiting damage to the environment to a minimum.

He said with the entire process exhausted and the courts dismissing an appeal to stop the open-pit mine for want of prosecution, the government is only left with the option of monitoring the situation and ensuring the developer operates within strict conditions.

He has however warned that the government will take the necessary decision if its detailed report shows that the mine has failed to adhere to provisions of ZEMA’s Decision Letter.

Mr. Nzovu said if the risk of environmental degradation becomes high, his Ministry will take action.

He said strict and adequate conditions are already in place but only lacked enforcement by the previous regime.

Mr. Nzovu said the government has instituted mitigation measures using various provisions from the ZEMA Act and findings of the Environmental Impact Assessment but was quick to mention that mining activities that pollute the environment are not allowed and if allowed, are under strict parameters.

The PF government last year approved the proposal for the Kangaluwi Open Pit Mining Project in Lower Zambezi National Park almost 20 years since an Australian-based company, Zambezi Resources Limited was granted an exploration license delayed by ZEMA’s initial rejection of the proposal, government overriding the agency and subsequent court cases which ended with the project still going ahead.

36 COMMENTS

  1. This should not have been allowed… i dont think the environmental impact assessment was exhaustively done there are factors that have not been foreseen for christ sake thats a habitat for animals we cannot start releasing exhaust fumes there …the decision should be rescinded it looks like ZEMA are under duress why u turn suddenly..

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  2. This makes my heart bleed big time and no doubt makes me realize just how I wasted my vote. We have a duty as humans to protect wildlife by doing what is right. Do we expect animals to form political parties??

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  3. Mining in a major nature reserve requires thorough review. Beyond that, the biggest issues are:

    1 – There is no data indicating this is a world class orebody justifying disturbing a pristine environment in terms of copper grade or volume.

    2 – The EIA shows this projects with not more than a few years of Mine Life: Project has nowhere near the economic and job benefits of the newer mines in North Western.

    3 – Owners of project (Zambezi Resources Limited through Mwembeshi Resources have no traceable history of success with any project, small or large. In fact they seem like a penny-stock company that make money off court/legal/royalty maneuvers.

    Please think this through.

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  4. It is all about their businesses and interests, nothing more. Again, we have been dribbled. Zambia, these are desperate decisions.

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  5. On this one the upnd has failed. If anything we expected that mining licence to be canceled altogether. I only hope HH will intervene.

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  6. Any short term financial return is not worth destroying a natural resource that was created over millions, nay billions of years!!
    Once mining operations begin the damage done will be irreversible, forever, as whatever mitigation measures may have been proposed are sure to have either underestimated or neglected several key factors, with potentially catastrophic consequences for plants, animals and the environment.
    Its not too late to stop this project, lets do it NOW for future generations!!!

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  7. Hakainde was an angel mu opposition. He got what he wanted thru lies. Even if you challenge him, he has got answers to everything.

    This presidency is a shame to the Zambians and the world at large.

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  8. HH always has 1000 ways to tell lies….!!

    1. Sometimes he pretends to be ignorant
    2. Sometimes he just ignores the questions
    3. Sometimes he says things, yet does not follow up, just to excite the audience

    Zambia has so many geographical landscapes where the government can issue mining licences and not the Lower Zambezi. Just how will they protect the environment when mining-earth-moving-machines and constant haulage tracks will be the things that will pollute and disturb animals. Just as well having a mine in that area means increasing the human populations, which is the opposite of protecting the environment.

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  9. And this useless minister wants to evict poor people for building in water catchments. Which is more harmful a mine that generates all sorts waste and chemicals and a poor man’s cabin?

  10. THIS IS VERY WRONG. I am from that part of Zambia and I know this area very well. UPND we did not campaign for this missteps and lately the president has been making many mistakes. He needs to start listening from other voices. Development cannot come at this cost of destroying our wildlife.

  11. Surface mining will leave an open, large and deep excavation that cannot be back filled to reclaim the land. The waste rock dump will occupy a large surface area of land, a tailing dump will occupy a large area of land and wil pollute the surrounding for many years to come. Both dumps, even if they revegetated, are not suitable to support ecosystem. Mr Collin Njovu, no monitoring or rehabilitation can address these negative impacts. As of now, it is not necessary to mine in the park. Tell Musokotwane to get a projected 3million tones from the existing mines.

  12. @LT Its not a 360 turn. Its a 180, complete opposite to what he said. 360 means he goes back to the starting point. Either way not good news.

  13. His behavior in the past few weeks is so disappointing and demoralizing that even his offices are failing to justify what is happening. He is supposed to explain to us all issues that he promised about, especially about fuel, Dollar, Mealie Meal, …… We heard from his own mouth at rallies. Today, he is behaving as if he is not living amongst us. We just see him going for pictures. is he a model? Doesn’t he have advisors to consult and deliberate with them, or is he on honeymoon over his presidency? Whatever the decision the responsible head has to explain to the family. We are all not as intelligent as he is!

  14. We warned you. Mah naseka sana. Zambians are gullible f00ls at times. Hh made you hate a patriotic hero like ECL only for him to be a worse leader. You deserve to suffer you zambianz

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  15. The Lower Zambezi is an ecological system shared by Zambia’s National Park and Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park. Wildlife freely cross the Zambezi to inhabit the two National Parks. The Zambezi River drives hydroelectric power at Kariba and Cahora Bassa dams. Besides, the Lower Zambezi is geologically a very unstable rift valley most prone to tectonic activities. Hence blasting by mining operations will (a) negatively disturb wildlife and kill tourism in the region; and (b) most likely create fractures to dam walls at Kariba and Cahora Bassa. It is thus unwise to allow mining operations in this shared riverine terrain.

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  16. President HH. On this one even as your someone who has confidence in your ability do not agree with your mines minister or green energy. Please listen to the people and cancel this license. Mining companies have never ahered to any environmental rules even the less strict and can never be trusted to do so under any circumstances. Also cancel that Ethiopian airlines deal. These bad deals PF made. We cannot have a CEO of Zambian airline who is Ethiopian – what decisions will make that are in best interest of Zambia. Patriotism is needed for national affairs.

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  17. Shocking….is HH and UPND being for real???? SMH…….wow…..wow Africans….why…are we cursed…..so this is potentially killing the Tourism industry and destroying our God given natural resources….HH is a demagogue President worse than Lungu

  18. I seriously don’t care whether you’re UPND or PF….let us organize a huge protest…
    Please things are now getting out of hands….we can’t let this happen…calling all Zambians to come together and stop this madness

  19. Some of us who knew HH told u.You’ll see how this country will finish within 5 years.God allowed him otherwise Zambia would have faced civil between the norhern and southern region if this man did n’t win but God loves Zambian people.Atleast now we can see our leaders instead of looking at tribe.Was happy to see this man win for the sake of peace but knew that he can’t deliver because he praises himself.How can u have a mining in a game park?Ooopps this sad

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  20. PF shills out in force on this one, lets not forget that is was PF that caused the mess. They are akways quick to blame others for not being able to clean things up.

  21. This a disgrace indeed

    Find out who flew in 21 December 2021 before Xmas to lower Zambezi with girl friends to visit the money and you will see the connection .Zambia is been privatised in a different version this time by the same fools that did it last time. They are not think tanks but thugs.
    They were getting broke and now they want to recover. One silent man in ZambIa know as mining expert is behind this. FIND OUT AND YOU WILL KNOW THE PERSON

  22. This is totally unacceptable. The excuse that the judges ordered the mining to go ahead is not good enough. The judges don’t own this game park. The Zambian people do. The lawless mining companies, especially in Zambia, have never been known to adhere to strict government regulation. Corruption comes in with the inspectors being bribed to look the other way. These mining companies, most of them foreign, don’t even care about the country in the first place. They’re just here to make money, and when they’re done, they return to their countries, leaving gaping holes behind, polluted rivers, and toxic waste dumped everywhere. This is a huge betrayal of the Zambian people by UPND.

  23. Let us go ahead and mine from the Lower Zambezi on condition that strict environmental protection is adhered to. This has been done elsewhere with great success. one example right here in Africa is Kilembe Mine and Kasese Cobalt plant which are in the Queen Elizabeth National park right at the Equator in Uganda, very close to the Rwenzori Mountains. God did not give us minerals so that they remain in the ground but that they should be mined for our benefit. And gladly, the Australian mining houses are very particular about protecting the environment and will not disappoint us. They are so particular that they dismiss employees for killing a lizard or a snake which strays into the Mining operation.

  24. Foreign mining companies do not adhere to strict government mining regulations, because most of them do not respect African countries. They feel they can disregard mining regulations and still get away with it.

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