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19 Nov 2019

Lusaka Times (Zambia)

Zambia: Minister wants tough action against mining company responsible for sulphur dioxide leak incident

‘Mines Minister calls for action after 200 pupils were rushed to hospital after inhaling emissions from KCM’ 19 November 2019

Mines Minister Richard Musukwa has directed the Mine Safety Department and Zambia Environmental Management Agency to use all provisions of the law to deal with Konkola Copper Mines -KCM following the air pollution which happened in Chingola last week. Last week, over 200 pupils and 40 KCM employees in Chingola were rushed to hospitals after inhaling sulphuric acid which KCM released from its acid plant.

…Speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Chingola District Commissioner Mary Chibesa, the Minister said the two agencies must use all the provisions of the law to deal with KCM because its pollution is well documented. Mr. Musukwa said once KCM is made to answer for its actions, all mining houses will see it as an example not to indiscriminately pollute the environment.

…Earlier, Mrs. Chibesa said KCM had been polluting rivers and fields for a long time. She complained that despite several pleas from her office, KCM has not been responding to the many incidences of pollution. The Mines Minister, who is accompanied by Director Mine Safety Mooya Lumamba and Nchanga Member of Parliament Chali Chilombo, is about to visit the acid plant were the sulphuric acid was discharged last week.