Vedanta Resources Plc Sustainable Development Day
July 24, 2017
Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Chief Executive Officer Steven Din has reaffirmed the company’s commitment to a greener and cleaner environment. Speaking at the Vedanta Resources Plc (‘Vedanta’) third annual Sustainable Development Day in London, Mr Din said that KCM is implementing measures aimed at realising zero discharge at its main tailings dam and at its leach plant within two years.
The Sustainable Development Day is convened annually by Vedanta to update analysts, investors and members of key industry bodies on the group’s sustainable development activities. Vedanta is the major shareholder in KCM.
Opening the meeting, Anil Agarwal, Chairman, Vedanta Resources Plc, said: “In every aspect of our operations, we are committed to making a positive impact by caring for our employees, eradicating poverty, protecting the environment and contributing to the development of strong and vibrant nations.”
Mr Agarwal added: “We remain committed to our goals of Zero Harm, Zero Waste and Zero Discharge and we are making good progress. Today’s event was an opportunity to engage with a group of important stakeholders and benefit from their insights as we continue on our sustainable development journey.”
Mr Din highlighted KCM’s commitment to restore the environment through home grown initiatives and the contributions of world renowned external experts. “We are implementing measures which include reviewing and validating KCM’s Going Green Initiatives. As a result of our ongoing work, KCM is now 98% compliant with regulatory requirements, but we strive to be the best we can be and are aiming for 100% compliance,” Mr Din said.
Mr Din said KCM’s environmental remediation plans aim to restore Chingola to its former glory as the greenest and cleanest town in Zambia.
Mr Din presented KCM’s bio-fuels pilot project, which was launched earlier this year. The project has involved the planting of 2,000 elite Pongamia Pinnata trees on a four-hectare overburden site at tailings dump number 2. The aim is to produce bio-diesel from the trees while using them to revegetate land, enhance soil fertility and inhibit soil erosion. The project is expected to create at least 1,000 jobs outside of mining.
KCM has also set up four ambient air quality monitoring stations and put up a state of the art Sulphur dioxide monitoring system at its Nchanga Smelter. At the end of July, online dust and carbon dioxide monitoring units will also be operational, while systems have been set up to measure conductivity and pH at the main dam for handling mining waste.
Other projects in the pipeline include the installation of sound deflectors to reduce noise pollution from the Nchanga smelter. KCM also recently installed four solar powered boreholes to provide clean water to 8,000 people in four peri-urban areas of Chingola.
KCM has pledged to pursue Vedanta principles of Zero waste, Zero discharge and enhanced community engagement on projects intended to uplift communities in the vicinity of KCM operations. The company’s expansive CSR programmes has seen more than $200 million spent in the last 13 years on education, health, sustainable livelihoods and sport.