Zambia suspends Chinese mine licence over non-compliance - CNBC Africa

Zambia suspends Chinese mine licence over non-compliance

Southern Africa

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A conveyor belt feeds broken rock into a stockpile at sunset at an open-pit copper mine in Zambia, Africa. PHOTO: Getty Images

The Southern African country issued the licence to a unit of China's Nonferrous Mining Corp to build an 832 million US dollar copper mine after the company failed to comply with some conditions, the country's environmental agency said.

In 2012 the agency, which must approve all large infrastructure projects, said NFC Africa could proceed with the South East Ore Body project about 400 km northwest of Lusaka which would add 60,000 tonnes to the country's copper output.

But the company had not fulfilled a requirement to prepare a comprehensive resettlement plan for people affected by the project, it said on Wednesday.

"The consequence of the suspension is that all operations or activities at the project site must be ceased," the agency added.

NFC Africa planned to build a copper processing plant and sink four shafts for production, services and ventilation, according to a document submitted to the environmental agency.

The South East Ore Body had copper ore reserves estimated at more than 76 million tonnes with an average grade of 2.18 per cent.

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