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Policy evolution and organisational learning in Zambia’s mining sector

Policy evolution and organisational learning in Zambia’s mining sector

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Published by Chola Mukanga

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Published by: Chola Mukanga on Apr 03, 2011
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The Mines and Minerals Act (1997) mandates the MSD to administer an

Environmental Protection Fund to assure government that companies allocate enough

funds for decommissioning (Sinkamba, 14.10.07). Contributions to the EPF were to

be determined by an environmental audit – to be completed by end-2007 – against

firms’ “Environmental Impact Statement in accordance with the requirements of the

Mines and Mineral (Environmental) Regulations SI 29 (of 1997).” (see also FQML

mgr 2, 7.11.07).316

The implementation of an EPF had not, however, been pursued

until it was announced on 3 September 2007 (in a letter from the Director of the

MSD) that all mining companies must contribute to an EPF.317

The EPF serves as an example of a policy that appeared to take mining

companies somewhat by surprise, and show cases the overlapping mandates of the

MSD and the ECZ. The ECZ was not invited to attend EPF consultations, nor partake

in the abovementioned audits, to the dismay of ECZ officials (ECZ official 4,

19.11.07). Such audits of environmental processes are normally the domain of ECZ,

which at the time was actually conducting its own audits of the mines (in line with

requirements to audit EMPs every three years). This example of regulatory overlap

thus contributed to additional costs of compliance for the mining companies.


One possible explanation for the limited progress of these reforms is that Ministry of Mines is

seeking to retain control over resources in the face of and continued shift of power to the Ministry of

Finance (see chapter five).


One respondent within the Ministry of Mines believes the EPF has come on the Ministry of Mines

agenda following a realisation through CEP analysis that “the environmental legacy of the big mines …

is enormous, just scary, really, the level of environmental problems that are there. Now the question is

who is going to pay for it.” (MSDP techn. ass’t, 1.10.07).


Depending on audit outcomes, mining companies’ annual cash contributions to the fund would

range from 5-20% of final closure costs.

~ 157 ~

The mines varied in their perceptions of the EPF: respondents at FQML saw it

as adding little, possibly because FQML already operated under the Equator

Principles. The CFO at CM did not see it as problematic, arguing that “all mines

should have been aware of it” (Bangur, 4.10.07) and that only poor performers had

cause for concern. At a consultative meeting with MSD in mid-October 2007 the

mining sector as a group agreed that “instead of individual mines trying to battle it

out, they [would] use the CoM to address all the concerns of the mines and to have a

dialogue with GRZ to come up with an acceptable form of implementation.” (Chihili,


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