CHIEF Nyakaseya of Ikelenge District in North-Western Province has given Jimbe Minerals Limited (JML) consent to relocate 42 agricultural fields in his area to enable the establishment of a nickel mine.
According to an Environment Impact Assessment report issued by JML to Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), Chief Nyakaseya has given the company consent to relocate about 42 fields to enable the establishment of Jimbe Mine.
Chief Nyakaseya said the alternative land for cultivation should not be too far from the homes of the affected.
JML has also pledged to clear new fields and all the farmers will be allowed to harvest their produce before implementing the project this year if approved.
JML says the project will create employment to the local people and the entire region. The local population will be given priority for the jobs created.
The proposed Jimbe Mine site is 105 kilometres from Mwinilunga District on the Mwinilunga-Jimbe Road in Ikelenge.
JML is proposing to establish three open pits, two wast e rock dumps, a tailings storage facility, processing plant with supporting infrastructure and a mine camp all worth $9.425 million.
The mine is expected to last eight years on an annual production rate of 875,000 tonnes of nickel ore.
JML plans to confine the project to the designated area in order to avoid encroaching on the streams, forests and communities.
However, blasting operations are likely to cause fugitive dust emission. As pits deepen, the dust will be localised and confined in these facilities.
JML plans to spray water using water bowsers or seal roads with molasses to minimise dust.
Noise is also expected to be generated especially from blasting, construction, processing and mining activities.
It will also have environmental monitoring points for air, water, noise, vibration and land quality.
The report says the effluent from the mine site could contaminate the natural streams and will therefore be captured and directed to the oil trap prior to discharge into the natural stream.
As for the burial sites within the mining licence, Muluwa, Mwevulu, Kamafumbu, Mpunga, Kamangala, Kanyokolo and Sedimi graveyards, JML will ensure that the areas are documented and have signposts to avoid any impact from mining activities.