In response to a recent MakanDay story that exposed the initiation of excavation activities for a sprawling open-cast copper mine within the pristine confines of the Lower Zambezi National Park, the government has taken swift action by putting a stop to the ongoing operations.

Minister Collins Nzovu, responsible for the Green Economy, has issued an order to Mwembeshi Resources Limited – the developer, to halt all operations in Lower Zambezi. This decision comes as a result of the company’s failure to comply with the conditions outlined in the official decision letter.

The minister said, in light of recent developments, it has come to his attention that thorough inspections and legal assessments carried out by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) have unequivocally proven that Mwembeshi Resources has blatantly violated several conditions outlined in the Environmental Impact Assessment Decision Letter dated May 7,2021. These violations pertain to the proposed large-scale mining activities covered by License No. 15547-HQ-LML within the boundaries of the Lower Zambezi National Park, situated in Luangwa District.

“Consequently, the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) under my ministry, has today, 31st May 2023, in accordance with Section 106 of the Environmental Management Act No. 12 of 2011, served a compliance order on Mwembeshi Resources Limited of Lot No.397 a/2/C of Chipwenupwenu Road in Makeni, in Lusaka District, in Lusaka Province of the Republic of Zambia,” said Nzovu.

In a show of displeasure with the mine in the park, environmental activists convened a press conference in Lusaka on Tuesday, May 31, to voice their concerns and demand that the government takes decisive action to halt all mining operations within the confines of the park.