The Emerald Production Watch of Zambia has called on the government to compel Kagem Mine to hand over the green emerald slug dumpsite to youths in Lufwanyama to ensure that the local community benefits from the mineral resources.
Speaking during an annual media interaction forum held in Kitwe over the weekend, Emeralds Production Watch of Zambia president, Musa Kafimbwa, charged that Kagem Mine owners should surrender the Emerald slug dumpsite or leave the country.
He said handing over the mining facility is the only meaningful way local youths are going to benefit from the emerald resources which he said are being externalized by foreigners who are running the mines.
Mr Kafimbwa noted that Zambia was one of the producers of high-quality emeralds in the world but the situation on the ground especially in Lufwanyama does not reflect the wealth that comes out of the emerald exports.
He said there is a need for the government to implore strategic approaches to gemstone mining for the country to fully benefit from the Zambian emeralds that are making headlines in the international media due to their size and high quality.
He noted that if well harnessed the emeralds from Lufwanyama alone can support the national budget for Zambia.
And Mr Kafimbwa has further called on the government to repossess all the dormant emerald mining licenses to pave way for investors with the capacity to operate mines.
He said the country was losing out by allowing people without the capacity to produce to continue holding on to licenses which they are not using.
He said if all the dormant mines become operational through capable investors, the government will be able to collect revenue through tax and more jobs will be created as local people especially youths will be employed.
He also noted that the mining area for Kagem mine was too vast and urged the government to consider reducing it so that other vibrant investors can operate the other parts to optimize the country’s revenue collection through tax.
Recently, Mines Minister, Richard Musukwa, announced that the government will repossess all dormant mines which are being helped for speculative reason.