MANAGEMENT at Kalumbila Minerals Limited (KML) is worried with delays by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) to approve the mine's Resettlement Action Plan (RAP).
The continued delay to resettle the affected people would result in KML losing US$5 million revenue per day if the deadline to commission its Sentinel Copper Plant in April, 2014 was not met.
This is according to KML assistant general manager Tristan Pascall and resettlement and community affairs manager, Garth Lappeman.
ZEMA's prolonged approval of KML's 2011 RAP would subsequently delay the commissioning of the mine's Sentinel copper plant under its K10 billion Trident Project in North-Western Province.
The two KML officials disclosed this to journalists who visited the area to check on the progress at the Trident Project on Thursday.
Mr Lappeman wondered why ZEMA had not approved KML's RAP since September, 2011 and yet the First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQML) subsidiary had exhausted all the necessary avenues that culminated in the document and subsequently availed it to the agency two years ago.
Mr Lappeman said comparisons between KML's RAP and those of four other firms which ZEMA approved recently revealed that KML's resettlement package was by far more attractive.
"The most common community comment is to speed up the resettlement because we submitted the RAP to ZEMA in September, 2011. It's almost two years later and they (ZEMA) still haven't approved it," he said.
"We believe that a lot of what they are requesting has already been done. It's more of a communication breakdown issue which we will address in our letter to them."
He said failure to resettle families in some of the mine's strategic areas in two weeks' time would eventually delay the commissioning of the Sentinel plant in April, 2014 and this would be costly to the mine.
Mr Lappeman, however, said the firm would comply with ZEMA's requests, besides writing to the agency soon over its concerns.
The Trident Project, which also includes the yet-to-be explored Intrepid Mine, has displaced 570 families, representing 1,400 farmers with crops on 787 hectares of traditional land, 105 livestock farmers, 100 bee keepers, more than 200 graves, 18 water sources, seven churches, one school, among others, but KML has catered for all the displaced people in its RAP.
So far, of the 570 displaced families, 35 of them had shown willingness to be voluntarily relocated to the housing units KML had provided at a quality rate of 129 per cent.
And Mr Pascall urged the Government to rescind its decision on the 10 per cent export levy on metal ore as failure to do so would negatively affect KML's enterprise nickel mine once it was operational.