In an effort to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated from mining operations, Kalumbila Minerals Limited (KML) commissioned a water treatment and purification plant. This is in fulfilment of its policy to reduce waste generation by operating a water bottling plant that refills drinking water in reusable 20 liter containers. This further reduces the amount of litter generated due to use of small plastic containers.
The product water is called “Mema Atoka”, directly translated from Kaonde, meaning pure or clear water. This was inspired by the source of the water which is obtained from the ground and later purified notably by filtration, ozone treatment and reverse osmosis processes.
The motivation to establish the plant was twofold, firstly, to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated from empty disposable plastic bottles causing litter on the mine site, and secondly, to supplement the piped water network catering for employees working in remote locations to have access to safe drinking water.
KML Environmental Manager, Kachiwala Sapalo said Mema Atoka is unique from other local brands available on the market.
“From an operational view, the Environmental Department has good controls and dedicated personnel ensuring the quality of the water meets set standards. The system is subjected to regulatory reviews that guide on improvements and best practice implementation”, Sapalo.
Mr. Sapalo said the water treatment and purification plant is operated to supplement the existing piped water treatment plant, of which the drinking water is equally of good quality.
“Mema Atoka is currently gaining ground here in Kalumbila and the environmental team is confident that the plant has the capacity to produce more than the mine demands, hence supply within the catchment is a possibility that may be considered at an appropriate time. In case of maintenance shutdown or works being done in areas where piped water is not accessible, our water is a back up to meet the employee’s needs. With the production design capacity of 1.5m3/hour of drinking water from raw water, the plant can certainly meet demands of not only our employees.”, Sapalo.
KML continues to implement sound environmental management practices aimed to manage the environment in a sustainable manner.