Ndola, Zambia — 05 July 2013 – The Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) has approved the construction of the Mwekera copper mine by Chinese-owned Macrolink Resources Limited, which will invest in excess of US$5 billion in the project.
Approval has also been given for the resettlement plan for scores of families in the Kaposhi area, which encompasses the 500-hectare land on which the underground mine will be developed, reports allAfrica.com.
ZEMA principal information and communications officer Irene Chipili said in an interview that the Mwekera copper mine project proposal had actually been approved in May this year.
One of the conditions of approval was that Macrolink would implement the project within three years of the date of approval.
“Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was done at the site, and the project has been approved,” she confirmed.
People affected by the opening up of the proposed construction site to mining activities would be relocated, and would be compensated by a one-off cash payment of K5,000 in lieu of the farming plots.
Individuals losing their homesteads would be paid K10,000 per household, while those individuals with crop land in Kaposhi area but who did not reside there, would be compensated with a cash payment of K5,000 in lieu of the farming plots.
Mines, Energy and Water Development Permanent Secretary Victor Mutambo said in a separate interview that the government wanted the mine project to take off without any further delay.
“Government wants the mine, which has a lifespan of 20 years, to be in operation as soon as possible, because the project is viable and will help create jobs for many people”, he explained.
Source: allAfrica.com. For more information, click here.