ASTREA Investment Limited (AIL) plans to set up a limestone production plant in Masaiti to supplement the current demand of the commodity by the mining and agricultural sectors at a cost about US$8 million.
The company is expected to commence construction immediately the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) approval is granted.
The project is expected to create 300 jobs at construction stage and 100 workers during operation.
According to information contained in the company’s Environmental Impact Statement report (EIS) submitted to ZEMA, the project will involve the construction of a vertical kiln in which limestone will be heated, fed and turned into lime. About 350 tonnes of limestone is expected to be produced per day.
The construction of the plant will begin with the creation of a foundation for the different structures after which the installation of the kilns and ancillary structures will proceed.
The project will include the construction of a double vertical kiln, lime mill plant, electrification, fitting and welding.
“The purpose of the project is to produce lime for supply to meet national and regional demand for the commodity by the mining industry… The current production levels in the country can’t meet the quantities required by the market, the demand for crushed limestone in Zambia is estimated at a minimum of 30,000 tonnes per year,” reads the EIS report.
The company adds that the demand for metallurgical grade burnt lime for new mines and mine expansion is expected to increase in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The implementation of the project will have both negative and positive effects on the environment and the community such as accidental spillage of vehicle lubricants which may inadvertently contaminate the water, soil, noise and air pollution arising from the land clearing deposition of dust.
Others anticipated effects include the potential to discolour public infrastructure due to the disposition of emitted dust.
On the positive front, the project will create employment for the locals, skills development for the community and increased public revenue through various taxes.