Tag Archives: Chingola

Landmark jurisdiction case won by Zambian farmers at Supreme Court

The Supreme Court today announced its verdict in the landmark case of the Zambian communities consistently polluted by Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), a subsidiary of British miner Vedanta Resources Plc, allowing them to have their case against the parent company and its subsidiary tried in the UK. The ruling sets a strong legal precedent which will allow people with claims against subsidiaries of British multinationals to sue the parent company in the UK.

The judgment by Chief Justice Lady Hale, and four further judges, re-affirms the rulings of the Court of Technology and Construction in 2016 and the Court of Appeal in 2017. Lady Hale refused Vedanta’s pleas in appealing the former judgments stating that, contrary to the claims of Vedanta’s lawyers:

  • the claimants do have a bona fide claim against Vedanta
  • the company does owe a duty of care to the claimants, especially in view of the existence of company wide policies on environment and health and safety.
  • that the size and complexity of the case, and the lack of funding for claimants at ‘at the poorer end of the poverty scale in one of the poorest countries of the world’ means that do not have substantive access to justice in Zambia.
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Sulphur Dioxide leak grounds residents in Chingola, Zambia

KCM ChingolaThis report comes from local residents and research direct from Zambia where a Foil Vedanta team is currently investigating British based Vedanta’s copper subsidiary KCM and making links with Zambian communities.

In the early morning of Friday 13th December high levels of Sulphur Dioxide were released from Vedanta subsidiary KCM’s Nchanga copper smelter in Chingola, Zambia. KCM’s Public Relations manager Joy Sata (a former journalist for Daily Mail Zambia) warned affected communities to stay in their homes until the pollution passed. See news article below.

Sata was quick to point out to the media that the pollution was caused by a national power outage due to disruption at the Kafue Gorge Power Station run by the government power company ZESCO. However, this does not explain why KCM’s smelter was the only one of many other mining companies affected by the power cut to release toxic emissions into the local community. It is clear that KCMs back up power supply was not effective causing their production to stop and releasing damaging emissions.

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