A controversial Kangaluwi open cast copper mine project has been given the go ahead in the Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia. The park, one of Zambian tourisms’ major economic contributors and a supporter of thousands of communities in the area, is situated opposite the famous Mana Pools National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The High Court of Zambia dismissed an appeal against the mine on a legal technicality. The initial legal team, who have fought the case for the last five years, failed to file a record of appeal in time. The license for the mine is held by Mwembeshi Resources Ltd and it is still unclear where its owners, Grand Resources Ltd, are based. The company is registered in Dubai but it is thought to be Chinese owned.
The site of the mine is between two seasonal rivers that flow directly into the Zambezi River. The mines tailings dams will be located just a few hundred metres from the Valley floor, next to the rivers. There is a high risk of pollution and collateral damage on the environment, as is its impact on the wildlife in the area.
Unless an appeal is lodged quickly the mine will move onto the site and begin work clearing it. The mine threatens this thriving economy and livelihoods of everyone in the Valley. It also threatens to spoil Zambia’s recently revealed tourism growth strategy which centres on the country’s pledge to defending its wilderness areas.
We are chatting to lodges in the region to see how we can be a part of preventing this from happening. If interested in seeing how you can help, please keep an eye on our blog.