LUSAKA, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Zambia suspended operations at a
copper processing plant after it discharged huge quantities of
effluent into a stream after a dam burst, the nation's
environmental management agency said on Friday.
The waste dam at the plant, more than 370 km north of
Lusaka, collapsed on Thursday discharging massive quantities of
effluent into the Luena stream, the agency said in a statement.
The Luena is a tributary of a river that feeds into Zambia's
main Zambezi river, a source of water for wildlife and people of
the landlocked south central African country.
"A stretch of more than 200 meters along the Luena stream
has been polluted, affecting fish and other aquatic organisms,"
the Zambia Environmental Management Agency said.
Some small-scale farmers who grow their crops on the banks
of the Luena had some of their crops buried by the discharge,
the statement said.
The company, Rongxin Investments Limited, was ordered to
suspend operations and clean up the stretch of water before
submitting an application to re-start operations.
Rongxin Investments could not be contacted after repeated
(Reporting by Chris Mfula in Lusaka; Editing by Promit
Mukherjee and Mark Potter)