Chinese-owned Non-Ferrous Cooperation Africa (NFCA) Mining, located in Chambishi on the Copperbelt has dragged Hybrid Poultry Farm for allegedly making false representations that it was affected by the mining company’s on-going construction of the South East Ore Body (SEOB) project.
The company argues that Hybrid Poultry Farm had allegedly made false representations to the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) recently that its poultry farms in Chambishi would be affected by the construction of the SEOB mining project.
NFCA contends in a statement of claim filed in the Kitwe High Court that on 29 June, 1998, the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development had granted it a large-scale mining licence to develop and carry on mining activities in the Chambishi mining licence area, the Post newspaper reported citing court documents.
It argued that in compliance with license conditions and the requirements of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations, it had submitted the environmental impact statement to the regulatory agency or ZEMA to develop and operate the mining project as required by the large-scale mining license conditions.
The miner further stated that during the review of the Environmental Impact Assessment, Hybrid Poultry Farm, the defendants, had objected to the construction of the SEOB project. It argued the project would have adverse effects on its hybrid operations.
NFCA further contended that at that time it had no adverse effects. Several meetings have been held to resolve the dispute between mining company and Hybrid Poultry Farm but the parties could not reach an agreement.
“ZEMA inspectors visited the mining project site and expressed satisfaction with the level of progress on the implementation of the SEOB mining project but surprisingly, and in total disregard of the findings of the independent consultants and satisfactory implementation of the SEOB project” NFCA stated in its affidavits, according to the Post.
“The defendants made false representations to ZEMA and other authorities, thereby influencing ZEMA to surprisingly author a letter dated November 27, 2013, suspending the decision and ordering immediate cessation of all operations at the site, alleging that parts of the decision letter were not complied with,”
NFCA further contended that following receipt of the letter, the company ceased all operations and activities at the project site and as a result, it suffered massive financial losses and damage to its corporate image.
NFCA is since seeking a declaration that Hybrid Poultry Farm was not affected by the SEOB mine project and was not covered by the provisions of the decision letter by the environmental agency-ZEMA.
The miner (plaintiff) is further seeking an order for compensation for all the losses and damages suffered as a result of the letter from ZEMA suspending the decision letter and ordering cessation of all operations and activities at the mining project site on alleged account of false representations by the defendant.
Earlier, NFCA management had claimed the company had incurred production losses in excess of US$4 million during the time it halted operations pending determination by the ZEMA.
Construction of the SEOB has since resumed after protracted discussions with various authorities.