Ministry of Mines permanent secretary Barnaby Mulenga says operations at the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) acid plant still remain suspended until the mining company complies with certain directives.

And Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) chief executive officer John Msimuko says the report on the sulphuric acid accident findings is not yet ready.

Over two weeks ago, Mines minister Richard Musukwa announced that operations at the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) plant had been suspended until investigations into the sulphuric acid spillage were completed.

In an interview, Mulenga said KCM had not yet been given clearance to resume the operations.

“That part of the operations are still being closed. When they give them a matter like this, it is a compliance issue when they have complied with the directive, that is when officers can [go] check. It is only when officers check that they finally give a go ahead, at the moment, we are waiting for them to comply. Once they comply, that is when the clearance will be given,” said Mulenga

And in a separate interview, Msimuko said the Agency would only sanction KCM based on strong facts.

“I cannot give you details now. There is something we are processing, you may have to bear with me. Well, that depends on what we find because for us, what we find on the ground, we establish because as you know, these are legal matters and most times they border on criminal offence so the burden of proof is very high on us we like to do a thorough job and if we arrive at that decision, it has to be backed by very strong facts,” said Msimuko.