THE Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) has insisted that it made adequate and thorough consultations before approving the US$-832 million South East Ore Body Project by the Non-Ferrous China Africa (NFCA).
Some stakeholders are opposed to the project saying that it will adversely affect the poultry industry within the area .
But ZEMA principal information and communication officer, Irene Lungu-Chipili said yesterday that the consultations were thorough.
"In view of the above, it should be noted that adequate and thorough consultations were made prior to approval of this project by ZEMA.
"The whole process took more than one year and the approval is subject to specific conditions which have been attached to the approval in order to ensure compliance to required environmental standards," she said.
Ms Lungu-Chipili said failure to comply with laid down conditions and commitments by the firm could result in withdrawal of the ZEMA decision without notice.
"ZEMA is fully committed to implementing its mandate as provided in the Environmental Management Act No. 12 of 2011, which is to ensure that developmental activities are implemented in a sustainable manner and with regard to the impacts to the environment.
"This is done through the EIA process, which is a public process and members of the public are encouraged to carry out searches at ZEMA offices on decisions made in order to ascertain the facts," she said.
The NFCA mining corporation Plc intends to develop and operate the South East Ore body project which is located on Kitwe-Chingola highway in Chambishi area in Kalulushi.
She said an Environmental Impact Statement in line with the provisions of the Environmental Management Act number 12 of 2011 as read with the Environmental Impact Assessment regulation of 1997, was submitted to ZEMA and reviewed.
She said as part of the review process, ZEMA had placed adverts in newspapers inviting comments on the proposed projects, adding that a public hearing was held on the September 2 2011 to facilitate submission of additional comments on the projects from the public.
She said based on the concerns by some stakeholders, ZEMA had commissioned an independent geo-technical study to assess the impact of the proposed mining project on Hybrid Poultry Farm.