Over 100 youths of Kasenseli area in chief Chibwika’s area in Mwinilunga district have petitioned government to consider empowering them with mining rights at the newly discovered gold mine in the area.
The youths, who gathered at the District Commissioner’s office in Mwinilunga yesterday to present their petition, requested government to allow them to undertake mining activities in one of the three pits known as veins at the site.
Speaking on behalf of other youths, Gift Maseka, said the best way the young people could meaningfully benefit from the mine is through direct involvement in the mining activities as opposed to getting employed by an independent mining firm.
Mr. Maseka said any mining company the government will engage should conduct its mining activities from other sites other than the one which does not require mechanisation to mine gold.
He added that individuals and mining firms that conducted activities at the site previously failed to pay the local youths who they had engaged in the mining.
The youths have also called on government to endeavor to engage an indigenous mining company to run the gold mine at Kasenseli.
And in receiving the petition, Mwinilunga District Commissioner Arnot Mapulanga praised the youths for expressing their discontent over the gold mining activities at Kasenseli.
Mr. Mapulanga said government is cognisant of the fact that any mining firm engaged at Kasenseli must first empower the local citizens especially the youths.
He has since assured the youths of government’s favourable response to their petition, promising that he would forward their petition to relevant ministries.
Kasenseli gold mine, which was discovered by the local people in July last year, saw an influx of people illegally exploiting the easily accessible gold deposits.
Government intervened through a presidential directive to halt all mining activities pending identification and consequently engagement of a suitable mining investor.
Government has since identified Zambia Consolidated Copper Mining-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) to run the mining activities at the gold mine.