Government says the embattled open pit mining project in the heart of the Lower Zambezi National Park will go ahead but under strict adherence to measures set by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency-ZEMA- to limit damage to the environment to a minimum.
Green Economy and Environment Minister Collins Nzovu disclosed that with the whole process exhausted and the courts dismissing an appeal to stop the proposed large scale open-pit mine for want of prosecution, government is only left with the option of monitoring the situation and to ensure 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 and if the risk of environmental degradation becomes high and further that, strict and adequate conditions are already in place but only lacked enforcement by the previous regime.
Mr. Nzovu says government has instituted mitigation measures using various provisions from the ZEMA Act and findings of the Environmental Impact Assessment-EIA- but was quick to mention that mining activities that pollute the environment are not allowed and if allowed, are under strict parameters.
The government last year okayed 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.