Musangezhi Dam was constructed for the Trident Copper Project by First Quantum Minerals under a water abstraction permit approved in July 2012 for a rate of 40,000 m3/day, with the initial period valid for 5 years and renewable.
However the flooding which has come as a result of nature has led to an uproar from residents in the district.
The community is blaming the mining firm for the flooding of the dam which has affected a graveyard in the area describing it a taboo.
FQM environmental manager Andrew Hester said the company had budgeted to invest US$700,000 in an initiative to upgrade community water systems in Kalumbila District.
He said the company has been forced to abandon the plans due to attacks from the community which he said has the potential to risk its reputation.
Hester said despite having coordinated consultations with Senior Chief Musele and other community leaders, going ahead with the project would affect its reputation.
“The prolonged attack on our work has gone too far. It is misguided, unfair, and damages our reputation as a good corporate citizen, on this basis, we have suspended investment in our water treatment project until such time as we have the full support of all in the community,” he stated.
He said the initial plans to upgrade water facilities were the foundation’s humanitarian response to concerns by the community about water quality and flooding.
“Water experts inspected the site, which is more than 7km away from the company’s Sentinel Mine in Kalumbila and concluded that the graveyard height was 25m above the high water mark of the closest dam, and that flooding had been caused by increased groundwater-level and surface water run-off due to high rainfall and disturbance of surrounding vegetation,” he added.