The Government of Zambia has announced that the controversial open-pit copper mining project in the Lower Zambezi National Park will go ahead.
The Government is committed to continuing with the project despite massive opposition against it from citizens, conservationists and civil society organisations.
Many conservationists and civil society organisations have opposed the Kangaluwi Open Pit Mining Project by Australian-based company, Zambezi Resources Limited.
In 2019, thousands of people signed a petition against it.
According to earth.org, the proposed site for the mine lies inside an International Conservation Union category II protected area in south-eastern Zambia, on the Zambezi River.
The Lower Zambezi National Park provides refuge to globally threatened wildlife species such as elephants and wild dogs and is home to unique vegetation types including the only protected and intact lowland deciduous thickets in the southern African region.
The organization warns that the potential long-term impact of this mine and the environmental threat it poses to the renewable resources of the Zambezi River ecosystem far outweigh any short-term economic benefits.
River pollution caused by the mine could threaten the Zambezi river’s 2,000-tonne subsistence fishery, which provides food and protein security to 20,000 people along the river’s banks, adds earth.org.
Speaking to privately-owned Radio Phoenix, Zambia’s Green Economy and Environment Minister, Collins Nzovu, said the project will go ahead after legal processes fashioned to stop the proposed large scale open-pit mine have been exhausted including an appeal dismissed by courts.
He said the state has been left with no option but to monitor the situation and ensure the developer operates within strict conditions.
Meanwhile, Zambians have taken to Twitter to express their feelings, many still in opposition to the move.