Mopani’s Mufulira
West heap leach
project “’ forced
to close
Lusaka, Zambia — 09 March 2012 – Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) has challenged the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) over the closure of its Mufulira heap leach project which has placed more than 300 jobs on the line. quotes “The Times of Zambia” as reporting that on Thursday last week ZEMA closed the Mufulira West heap leaching plant, following complaints of pollution by residents of Butondo.

But Mopani CEO Danny Callow said in a statement that management was shocked at ZEMA’s move to suspend the heap leach project when the mine had complied with all the requirements in the last five years.

“ZEMA has closely and properly monitored the heap leach project since inception in 2007 and always found the operation to be in compliance with its regulations” he said.

Callow said since the closure of the plant on Thursday last week, Mopani had been losing US$100,00 a day and wondered how it would continue to support the 310 jobs.

Mopani, he added, had not been provided with the findings of the ZEMA investigations, pointing out that it was unclear how the latest findings could differ from the past five years’ satisfactory results.

“We have always conducted our heap leach project in a responsible manner and in line with or exceeding the terms of our licence,” Callow said.

He added that Mopani was looking forward to a quick resolution of any issues and a restart of the project as soon as possible in order to secure jobs that depended it.

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