Australian-listed and exploration and mining company, Zambezi Resources Ltd., owners of Kangaluwi Copper mine in Zambia, have allayed fears raised by various players over the oncoming project, the company says.
In a statement availed to the Mining News Zambian, the miner is committed to working with local communities and environmentalists to ensure the conservation of the Lower Zambezi National Park and development of the “cleanest, greenest and safest copper mine ever built”.
The company, which has been granted a mining licence by the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development, plans to create an initial 500 jobs for people living in the surrounding area.
It is working with traditional leaders, who are supportive of the project to improve livelihoods and bring economic development to the area, said its chairman, David Vilensky. “Kangaluwi Copper Project will be the cleanest, greenest and safest copper mine ever built, probably anywhere in the world, applying the world’s best practices and technology,”
In recent weeks over 100 conservationists have argued over the grating of a large scale mining License to the miner contending that the project was a risk to the local environment.
Vilensky, however says: “Zambezi Resources is a responsible Australian company and understands the importance of conserving the environment, particularly in a sensitive area such as the Lower Zambezi National Park.
It shares the concerns of all those interest groups that have raised concerns to the project and adds that it is keen to engage with local environmentalists to ensure we can achieve a win-win situation by bringing jobs and prosperity to local communities while protecting – and indeed enhancing – the flora and fauna of the area.
The Lower Zambezi National Park covers an area of 4,092 square kilometres (409,200 hectares), of which the total area covered by the mining licence is 245 square kilometres (24,500 hectares), or less than 6 percent of the total park area, with the open pit mine footprint covering 11 square kilometres (1,000 hectares) or 0.3 percent of the park area.
The mine site is in a remote, inaccessible and sparse part of the park, on the upper escarpment, more than 35 kilometres away from the Zambezi River, with no surface water and consequently very few animals.
Zambezi Resources has listened carefully to the concerns raised by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) about the project, and has worked diligently to address these issues in order to minimise the environmental impact of the mine.
The construction and development of the mine is subject to strict conditions issued by Zambia Environmental Agency or ZEMA, to ensure total compliance with the objectives of the Environment Management Act of 2011 which will be monitored and supervised by ZEMA.
The mine has introduced a cutting edge technology to further minimise the risks to the environment, particularly in the use of a dry stacked tailings technology to address original concerns over possible pollution from a tailings dam, which will not now be used.
Zambezi Resources is happy that the Government has overturning the ZEMA rejection of the company’s Environmental Impact Study (EIS) and allowed the Kangaluwi Copper Project to proceed within the national park as part of its revised Mineral Resources Development Policy.
According to Zambezi Resources the company will strive to strike a fair balance between the benefits of mining and the protection of the environment and wildlife conservation, provided its policies and laws are respected ad adhered to and such investments will create employment opportunities for ordinary Zambians.
Zambezi Resources is an exploration and mining company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
The company’s strategy is focused on the Zambian mineral endowment, international capital and Australian expertise. Zambezi has spent US$60 million (approximately K 290 million) on the Kangaluwi Copper Project, having been granted a mining license of 245 km2 for an initial 25 years in Luangwa District.