Environmental impact assessment
[Posted on 23 Jun, 2021 by Oxpeckers Reporters]
After exploration confirmed copper deposits in the Kangaluwi area, the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development awarded the company a mining licence on March 16 2012 – on condition that it submitted an environmental impact assessment (EIA) to the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA).
In September 2012 the agency rejected the EIA because of its potentially adverse impacts on water sources, the environment and wildlife ecosystems of the Lower Zambezi.
The agency expressed concerns that the mine’s tailing storage facilities, sited on the upper Zambezi escarpment, would leach chemicals into the lower escarpment and the Zambezi River. There were also high chances of the tailing storage facilities failing because the proposed mine lies in an area prone to earthquakes.
ZEMA said failure of the tailing storage could release acid mine effluent, with significant environmental and public health impacts extending into neighbouring Zimbabwe and Mozambique. In case of a collapse of the facility, mine sludge would flow directly into Mana Pools, a Zimbabwean World Heritage Site located 25km from the Kangaluwi.
While the EIA acknowledged there was a high potential to generate acid mine drainage, it did not set out measures to be taken to address the impacts in the short and long terms, the agency found.
Come back and join us for Parts 1 – 10:
PART 1 ” Controversial open-pit in Lower Zambezi”
PART 3 ” Legal battles”
PART 4 ” Tourism concerns”
PART 5 ” Political precedents”
PART 6 ” Green Party”
PART 7 ” Holes in the EIA”
PART 8 ” Judiciary under scrutiny”
PART 9 ” Questions to ask yourself”