By : Gill Staden
10 June 2012
The proposed Kangaluwi Mine is situated in the Lower Zambezi National Park. Lower Zambezi is one of Zambia’s premier parks and is opposite Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe, a World Heritage Site.
The proposed mine will be for copper and be open pit. The company that wishes to exploit the mine is Mwembeshi Resources/Zambezi Resources. It has some Australian connections.
The project will include the construction of a copper sulphide concentrator, tailings storage facility, waste rock dump, maintenance workshops and other associated facilities.
From Zambezi Resources
The Kangaluwi, Chisawa and Kalulu prospects are three high quality prospects within the 100% owned Kangaluwi Copper Project. The Project is covered by a 245 km²
Mining Licence …
An EIA has been conducted and there will be public meetings on
Saturday 16 June, Chiawa Basic School
Monday 18 June, Council Chamber, Luangwa District
Some of the articles I have read about the mine state that it is a greenfield site. This merely means that it is going ahead in an area which is pristine and not previously touched by humans. It is nothing to do with the development being ‘green’.
It also appears that there is more than one area which has prospects for mining. According to their report there are several sites nearby which have potential for copper and gold.
There is a lot of interest from the public in this development. There is also one petition started against the development. Why?
What are the impacts of such a development?
Pollution – what chemicals will end up draining into the Zambezi River and the environment?
Noise – think of the noise of the explosions as the hills are blasted to reach the minerals. The Zambezi River runs through the Escarpment. Undoubtedly the noise will echo around the valley.
People and Poaching. The mining company will have to open up roads into the park to bring in the trucks for transporting the ore to the Copperbelt for refining. These roads will give ease of access to the park by would-be poachers.
World Heritage Site. Lower Zambezi had hopes of joining Mana Pools in their World Heritage Site status. Can this happen when it is home to an open pit mine? And what does Zimbabwe think about it? Will Zimbabwe lose its status because of our activities?
In the end: In 25 years time the mine will be abandoned as all the minerals will be exhausted. We know that mining companies are not the best at repairing the environment when they have finished. The mess for our children to look at will not be nice. Is this the legacy we want to leave our children?
The basic issue is that mining is a dirty, messy business. It is totally incompatible with our National Parks; National Parks which, if looked after, will provide jobs and income for generations to come.
I did try to get a copy of the EIA through Zambia Environmental Agency but the email they gave on the website bounced. I will go and see the local office and see if I can get a better address. In the meantime if you are against the development, go to: