Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines Paul Chanda says Central province has great potential for gold and base metals.
Speaking at the on-going Central Province Investment Forum and Expo, Mr.Chanda said mining for the mineral is being done at a small scale but one large mining firm is conducting feasibility studies and is expected to almost graduate.
Mr.Chanda disclosed that there is no major mines established getting the materials whose deposits are located in Luano and Mumbwa districts.
He added that the province is endowed with other mineral resource which includes Zinc, Lead, Limestone, Manganese and gemstones.
Mr.Chanda further said the province had since witnessed the establishment of a cement plant in Mkushi district and eight firms were actively mining manganese in the district.
He said the old mine that was launched last month had commenced production and is expected to commence export of copper soon.
Meanwhile,Mr. Chanda has encouraged Zambians owning mining licences in Central province to form cooperatives to awaken and realize full potential of the sector.
Mr.Chanda said investing in the sector comes with high stakes to invest in productivity and borrow the necessary funds to purchase equipment.
He disclosed that 80 percent of the mining licences issued by the Ministry in the province were awarded to Zambians.
Mr.Chanda said a total of 176 exploration licences for large scale,219 issued for explorations at small scale,16 large scale mining licences were issued but most had not yet commenced works.
He added that 105 licences were issued for small scale mining while 61 licences issued for mineral processing with four processing plants already operational.
He said the 2013 Mineral Resource Development Policy is evidenced by governments commitment to creating an enabling environment for local and foreign partnerships in the sector to thrive.
Central Province Investment Forum & Expo