Vedanta and Konkola, Zambia


Since 1900 when the Zambian government started to privatize the mining industry, foreign mining companies have been taking advantage to secure investment. Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) is a subsidiary of Vedanta, a mining company listed on the London Stock Exchange, and is the largest copper producing mine in the country. Discontent has been growing as a result of constant degrading working conditions, the withholding of salaries, indiscriminate firing of people and worker mistreatment.

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Basic Data
NameVedanta and Konkola, Zambia
ProvinceCopperbelt Province
SiteChingola District
Accuracy of LocationLOW country/state level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Mineral ore exploration
Mineral processing
Specific CommoditiesCobalt
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsVedanta owns 79% of the mining operations in Zambia. On average it takes about 100 tones of ore to produce 1 tonne of copper.

Current production is 2 MTPA, to be increased to 7.5 MTPA. The KDMP also includes the commissioning of a 6 MTPA concentrator. Since 2004, it has invested $2.7 billion in Konkola, upgrading mining facilities and increasing its resource base.

The company’s website reports that these operations delivered 160,000 tonnes of integrated copper production in the financial year 2013 and 216,000 tonnes of total finished copper production.
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected Population125 households (approx.)
Start Date2004
Company Names or State EnterprisesKonkola Copper Mines
Vedanta from United Kingdom
Government of the Republic of Zambia
Relevant government actorsZambian government
International and Financial InstitutionsThe World Bank (WB) from United States of America
International Monetary Fund (FMI)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAfrican Human Rights Watch, Foil Vedanta, The Development Education Community Project ( NGO), Catholic Diocese of Ndola, Chingola Deanary (Faith based Movement), Southern Africa Resource Watch, Action Aid Zambia
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Industrial workers
Informal workers
International ejos
Local ejos
Trade unions
Religious groups
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
Planned mine expansion, tax audit
Development of AlternativesSome demands of the community were:

To have a round table discussion with the Mine management as well as other stakeholders to address the poor water conditions in Shimulala

To ensure that the Mine puts up piped water in the community for both agriculture and Domestic, as they had the right to access to clean and safe water.

If the water situation cannot be improved, there is the need to relocate the community to a more habitable location.

The health conditions of the community should be examined, so that adequate medical attention is given.

The Mine (KCM) should improve its behaviour towards the welfare of the local community by being responsive and addressing community needs on time.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The community demands have not been met and the fine has not been paid.
Sources and Materials

Case: U&M Mining Zambia Ltd v Konkola Copper Mines plc [2013] EWHC 260 (Comm)
[click to view]

Case: U&M Mining Zambia Ltd v Konkola Copper Mines plc [2013] EWHC 260 (Comm)
[click to view]

[1] Vedanta's pollution of water in Zambia
[click to view]

[2] Konkola Deep Mining Project
[click to view]

Zambia announces formal audit of Vedanta Resources' tax affairs
[click to view]

[3] Foil Vedanta
[click to view]

Foil Vedanta report on Zambia
[click to view]

Other Documents

Source: Das and Rose 2014
[click to view]

Source: Das and Rose 2014
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorBarbara Gonçalves
Last update13/06/2014