Last update:

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.

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Vedanta and Konkola, Zambia
State or province:Copperbelt Province
Location of conflict:Chingola District
Accuracy of locationLOW (Country level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Other
Mineral ore exploration
Mineral processing
Specific commodities:Cobalt
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Vedanta owns 79% of the mining operations in Zambia. On average it takes about 100 tones of ore to produce 1 tonne of copper.

See more
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:125 households (approx.)
Start of the conflict:2004
Company names or state enterprises:Konkola Copper Mines
Vedanta from United Kingdom
Government of the Republic of Zambia
Relevant government actors:Zambian government
International and Finance InstitutionsThe World Bank (WB) from United States of America
International Monetary Fund (FMI)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:African 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
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Industrial workers
Informal workers
International ejos
Local ejos
Trade unions
Religious groups
Forms of mobilization:Creation 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-economical ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Planned mine expansion, tax audit
Proposal and development of alternatives:Some 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The community demands have not been met and the fine has not been paid.
Sources & Materials

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

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

[3] Foil Vedanta
[click to view]

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]

Foil Vedanta report on Zambia
[click to view]

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

Meta information
Contributor:Barbara Gonçalves
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:312
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.