British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Mining in Zambia : environmental management Dixon, B. M. (Brenda M.), 1952-; Tisch, Bryan; Kangamba, Gerhad


The nationalized mining sector in Zambia has undergone virtually complete privatization since January 2000. Immediately prior to this, Zambian mines, while blessed with substantial copper and cobalt deposits, had been significantly undercapitalized1, with little upgrading or funding for environmental protection. In the pre and post war era, legislation (in the then Northern Rhodesia) had been passed, due to the paramount concerns of the war and post war reconstruction efforts, that exempted mining companies from prosecution related to air quality- issues. This legislation persisted to the mid-1990s. Currently, air quality in areas of the Copperbelt Province and the aquatic habitat in the Kafue River, a tributary to the Zambezi River, are two of the more significant mining environment issues in Zambia. With the onset of privatization, new investors in the form of multinational mining companies, have adopted their corporate environmental policies in Zambia, which has placed increased pressure on the Environmental Program of the Zambian Mines Safely Department (MSD) of the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development to review development plans as well as monitor and enforce environmental regulations related to mining. The Mining and Mineral Sciences Laboratories (MMSL-CANMET) of Natural Resources Canada under contract with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), are working with MSD to accelerate the development of an increasingly functional environmental inspection program for mining, using Canadian experience and consulting expertise to facilitate this process. With a considerable Canadian mining presence already established in Zambia, it is anticipated that the project will help to establish a regulatory regime that will benefit new and existing Canadian mining companies in Zambia.

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