PERTH, Australia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Zambezi Resources Ltd (ASX:ZRL) (“Zambezi” or “the Company”) has received a major boost in its plans to develop its wholly owned Kangaluwi copper project in Zambia after its Environmental Impact Study (EIS) received formal approval by the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Zambia.
Since news of the environmental approval was released to the ASX on 21 January 2014, the share price of the company has risen significantly, up as much as 237.5% in recent days.
The approval of the Environmental Impact Study is a landmark decision for Zambezi, the result of an in-depth and far-reaching consultation process.
Zambezi was granted a Large Scale Mining Licence for its Kangaluwi copper project by the Zambian Government in March 2011 on the condition of approval of an Environmental Impact Statement. The EIS was completed and lodged in March 2012 with the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA). However, in September 2012 ZEMA informed Zambezi that it did not approve the EIS despite positive indications to the contrary.
An appeal was lodged by Zambezi and over a period of 18 months Zambezi worked closely with all stakeholders including local communities and the Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) to address ZEMA’s concerns over the impact of mining activities in the Lower Zambezi National Park.
On 17 January 2014, the Minister of Lands, National Resources and Environmental Protection, the Hon Harry Kalaba, officially confirmed the success of the appeal and approved the EIS of the Company. In this letter the Minister acknowledged that there were adequate cost effective technologies and methods available to address all potential impacts that could arise. The letter also stated that wildlife management in the area will be enhanced and conserved by the management scheme proposed in the submission by Zambezi.
Zambezi Chairman, Mr David Vilensky, welcomed the overturn of the decision which allows the company to move forward with development.
“I compliment the Zambian Government in allowing the Kangaluwi Copper Project to proceed within the National Park as part of its revised Mineral Resources Development Policy which seeks to strike a fair balance between the benefits of mining and the protection of the environment and wildlife conservation, provided its policies and laws are respected and adhered to and such investments will create employment opportunities for ordinary Zambians,” Mr Vilensky said.
“Securing formal approval of the EIS represents a milestone for the Company as we can now take steps and proceed to take the Kangaluwi Copper Project to the development stage and become an emerging producer.”
This milestone paves the way for the development of the Kangaluwi Copper Project, 180km east of the capital Lusaka, which confirms to date a JORC resource of 308,000t of copper metal of which 50,000t is the oxide resource with only 20% of the mining licence exploration targets drilled.
With the EIS approval now granted, Zambezi will be focused on JORC resources definition and feasibility work to move towards development in what is potentially Zambia’s next copper province.