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Zambia: Court authorises controversial mining to proceed on a technicality as citizens petition govt. to stop the mining

The High Court of Zambia has ruled that the controversial Kangaluwi open-cast copper mine project will go ahead in the heart of the Lower Zambezi National park. This was after the court dismissed the appeal against the mine on a legal technicality because the initial legal team that fought the case five years ago failed to file a record of appeal. The Zambian citizens were however not happy with this decision and have signed a petition seeking to ensure “no mining now or ever in the national park.

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Article
21 January 2020

Zambia: Victory for communities as govt cancels plans to mine in national park

Author: Mike Mwenda, Life Gate (Zambia)

‘Zambia cancels plans to build open-pit Kangaluwi copper mine in a national park’ 16 January 2020

The Zambian government has announced that construction of the open-pit Kangaluwi copper mine in Lower Zambezi National Park won't proceed, following strong backlash against the project's prior approval…Although artisanal and small-scale mining has previously occurred in protected areas in Zambia, this could have been the first project involving large scale extraction, specifically an open-pit copper mine, by a foreign-owned company inside a national park.

Tourism and Arts Minister Ronald Chitotela announced the project won’t go forth because a report that was submitted by the environmental regulator has expired. “If this mining firm wants to go ahead with its project, we can advise them to submit a fresh report which will have to be scrutinised and approved by the government,” he explained in an interview.

…In addition, local stakeholders, communities and international experts had raised questions about the viability of the project proposal and the technical quality and transparency of the information being shared by the Australia-listed Mwembeshi Resource Company seeking to develop the mine.

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Article
12 November 2019

Zambia: No mining until environmental regulator completes a fresh report on the potential impacts of mining in the area, says govt

Author: Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.com

‘Zambia scraps plans to build giant copper mine in national park’ 6 November 2019

Zambia’s government cancelled on Wednesday a polemic plan to allow the construction of a major copper mine in a national park by the Zambezi river. The news comes only a week after the country’s High Court authorized Australia-listed Mwembeshi Resources to build a massive copper mine in the Lower Zambezi National Park, a haven for endangered wildlife that attracts thousands of tourists a year.

…Minister of Tourism and Arts, Ronald Chitotela, said the park will remain closed to mining until the country’s environmental regulator completes a fresh report on the potential impacts of extractive activities in the area. The last study, Lukasa Times reports, expired in 2017. The plan to create a mine in the park, 174km (108 miles) south-east of the capital, Lusaka, has faced relentless opposition. Together with environmental activists and the tourism minister, detractors include the Economic Association of Zambia and others who warn mine pollution will harm the park and Zimbabwe’s nearby Mana Pools National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Article
6 November 2019

Zambia: Former president issues a public plea in protest of the construction of a major copper mine

Zambia’s founding leader protests mining project in park

Zambia’s founding president Kenneth Kaunda has issued a rare public plea to protest the construction of a major copper mine in a national park on the Zambezi River. The 95-year-old Kaunda says the mine planned for Lower Zambezi National Park “poses the biggest threat in history to the wildlife and pristine wilderness that has survived so many centuries of challenges.”

Kaunda, who created the park while in office, called it one of the southern African nation’s most popular destinations and a key wildlife corridor. His statement published Thursday by the Lusaka Times comes days after the High Court ruled that the Kangaluwi mine project could go ahead.

The plan to create a mine in the park has faced resistance from environmental activists, Zambia’s tourism minister, the Economic Association of Zambia and others who warn that pollution will harm the park and Zimbabwe’s nearby Mana Pools National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mining license for the project is owned by Mwembeshi Resources Ltd, which reportedly is registered in Dubai.

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Article
29 October 2019

Zambia: Citizens petition govt. in a bid to stop controversial mining from proceeding

Author: The Mast (Zambia)

‘Thousands sign petition to stop Lower Zambezi mining’ 26  October 2019

DIPAK Patel and 5000 others have petitioned the granting of a go-ahead for an open-cast copper mine inside Lower Zambezi National Park. By close of yesterday over 4,000 Zambians had signed the petition seeking to ensure “no mining NOW or EVER in the national park. In January 2014, then Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Harry Kalaba shocked all concerned and ordinary Zambians when he gave a go-ahead to the mining project in the Lower Zambezi National Park.

…“This is not economic empowerment but the strong arm of corruption and greed at work. The solution is simple: take away all licences, permits and bring those who approved such atrocities to justice. We the Zambian people want to know why this is being allowed by our judiciary when they know full[y] well that it is clearly an environmental tragedy and a step closer to the extinction of our wildlife and indigenous vegetation. Our forests have been cut down of precious timber, our rivers have been polluted with toxic waste from the mining and agricultural sector, our soils have been degraded with chemical fertilizers and our natural resources have been pillaged and are nearly at the point of depletion…now climate change is making our situation worse through the ignorance and greed of those who do not understand it.”

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Article
29 October 2019

Zambia: Court authorises controversial mining to proceed on a technicality

Author: Lusaka Times (Zambia)

‘The High Court of Zambia Kangaluwi gives green light to mining in the Lower Zambezi’ 23 October 2019

The High Court of Zambia has ruled that the controversial Kangaluwi open-cast copper mine project will go ahead in the heart of the Lower Zambezi National park. This was after the court dismissed the appeal against the mine on a legal technicality because the initial legal team that fought the case five years ago failed to file a record of appeal. The site of the mine is between two seasonal rivers which flow directly into the Zambezi River.

… The risk of pollution and collateral damage to the environment is high, as is the impact the mine will have on the wildlife in the area. The licence for the mine is held by Mwembeshi Resources Ltd, but it is still unclear where its owners, Grand Resources Ltd, are based. They are registered in Dubai but suspicions are rife that they are Chinese owned.

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