Zambia shuts polluting Glencore plant

Zambia closed has a copper treatment plant belonging to Glencore International's Mopani Copper Mines for pollution violations, the state environmental agency said on Monday.

Zambia environmental management agency spokeswoman Chama Mwansa told Reuters Mopani was ordered to shut down its Mufulira heap leaching plant on Thursday due to excessive emissions of the pollutant acid mist.

The Glencore logo is seen on a sign in front of Swiss commodities trader Glencore building in Baar near Zurich. Credit: REUTERS

The agency's inspection of the plant revealed that there was no acid mist or vapour barrier to minimise effects on more than 3,000 local residents, Mwansa said.

“Statistics show an increase in the number of cases of pulmonary, throat, nose and ear ailments,” she said.

Mopani would only be allowed to open the plant after it erected acid mist barriers and effective equipment to control the pollution, she said.

The agency also ordered Mopani to prepare a comprehensive environmental and social management plan for the heap leaching process and submit it for approval, Mwansa said. - Reuters