MAC: Mines and Communities

Mac Editorial Note: The Kabwe Lead And Zinc Operations Were Closed In 1994. They Were Controlled B

Published by MAC on 2007-08-31

* MAC Editorial note: The Kabwe lead and zinc operations were closed in 1994. They were controlled by ZCCM (Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines), then state-owned, but with Anglo American holding just over 27% of the equity. Following privatisation of ZCCM in March 2000, Anglo American, through its subsidiary ZCI, continued to hold investment in the Kabwe operations, as well as assuming control of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). But, in January 2002, Anglo American essentially pulled out of the country; two years later KCM was taken over by Vedanta Resources plc.

At the end of 2002, a set of Environmental Management Plans were agreed for implementation between ZCCM-IH (International Holdings), the World Bank and Germany's GTZ (development agency) to try to cope with the vast legacy of environmental pollution in the Zambian Copperbelt (which also covered the Kabwe operations). The agreement stated that : "From an operational perspective, ZCCM-IH will be in perpetuity responsible for managing the environmental liabilities accrued during the years before privatization." Since ZCCM-IH is majority owned by the Zambian state, and Anglo American has no known involvement in it, prospects of bringing Anglo to book with regards to the calamity at the Kabwe seem very remote.

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