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Alba Iulia
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Police halt illegal mining activities in Luanshya Copper Mines

General News Police halt illegal mining activities in Luanshya Copper Mines

A combined team of police officers from all ten districts of the Copperbelt province has swung into action in an operation to remove hundreds of illegal miners that had invaded CNMC Luanshya Copper Mines.

The area that had been invaded by illegal miners was Roan extension west open pit mine in Mpatamato area in Luanshya district.

Both Luanshya District Commissioner Patrick Maipambe and Luanshya Copper Mines (CLM) Public Relations Manager Sydney Chileya confirmed the development to ZANIS today.

Hundreds of illegal miners, including children under the age of 12, from Luanshya and neighbouring towns had invaded CNMC Luanshya copper mines Roan Extension west and Baluba East open pit mines after a named politician illegally granted the mines to the cadres as a form of youth empowerment prior to the August 12, general elections.

The operation, which involved over 350 police officers, begun on Saturday around midnight into Sunday morning in which police fought running battles with illegal miners.

The illegal miners were pelted stones at the police and burnt tires in a bid to resist vacating the mine premises.

Mr. Chileya explained that, “as a company we started seeking police intervention into this matter in 2018 when the illegality begun but we could not get positive response from the police,” he said.

He added that a few weeks prior to elections, the situation worsened as illegal miners from other towns flocked to the Luanshya Copper Mines to conduct illegal activities.

He said on several occasions, the affected mine reported the matter to the local police and also to provincial heads but there was no positive response.

Mr. Chileya said CLM only managed to arrest the situation through the use of the company lawyers William Nyirenda and Company, and the engagement of ZCCM HI and Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) and the Mining Safety Department, who are stakeholders in the company.

“The invasion started three years ago but was escalated two months ago and as a company we have lost a lot of mining assets translating into huge sums of money, and this has affected our production as you are aware we are an economic asset of the district,” he said.

He further said, “the illegality not only did it affect our operations but was also unsafe and unfortunately had claimed seven (7) lives in the space of two months in which the illegal activity had escalated”.

Mr. Chileya said despite the pockets of violence that characterised the operation, the situation has been mitigated.

And Luanshya District Commissioner Patrick Miapambe commended the move adding that the mining activity was an illegality that could not be tolerated.

Mr. Maipambe said police had in the past engaged the illegal miners asking them to stop the mining activities.

He disclosed that the miners were aware that the activity was illegal saying halting it was long overdue.

“As government, we cannot continue to allow an illegality to prevail. This morning police swung into action and removed the illegal miners by engaging them and making them understand the need to desist from conducting mining activities, which is an invasion on private property.” Mr. Maipambe said.

He said he had asked the police not to use force on the people but speak to them and make them understand the reason why they should move away.

“I am glad that the situation has been settled and everything is back to normal and the operation has been incident free, the miners have also understood that that area belongs CLM,” he said.

CLM is currently a large contributor to the economic activity of the district with over 2,000 employees including contractors.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Decisive action from our new president. Why did Edgar China Lungu not act? Oh yes, that was part of his “empowerment” scheme! Corrupt PF behaviour! ACC do your thing!

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  2. That shows you the extent of unemployment in the country. Very soon we’ll be like DRC with child miners everywhere. HH Chitapo chimo

  3. The finance minister was interviewed this evening, he couldn’t talk about any employment for anyone however hopping for 10years it could be possible nothing as yet coming, however only borrowing is on the table.
    Who knows what borrowing will do

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  4. #4 Realistically that’s the way it should work. But the youth in street won’t understand this and will want his job as promised. If I were a politician my message would have been ” Let’s remove the PF from office before they completely destroy the country” I know that would not have worked… only instant promises work. Anyone using their brains would ask where jobs would come from in one week. Anyway the situation was desperate and needed desperate stories.

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  5. Legally, the action is ok, but think of the multitude of these youths seeking a livelihood. What next? What will they do? Stealing I guess, since they can no longer go to markets and bus stations.

  6. That’s PF lawlessness for you they ignored all this in the name of empowerment when they had sold the mineral rights to CNMC Luanshya Copper Mines….and the same morons were singing about attracting investors to Zambia.
    Its also good that FIC has frozen Lazy Lungu’s appointee’s accounts Milungo Lungu who was overseeing KCM liquidation.

  7. Issacher – What they were doing is criminal no excuses …its like people coming on to your farm and stealing fruits in the orchard…that mine company paid alot of money for those mineral rights. Where do you think they were selling the copper ore ..its on the black market? Stop trying to justify wrongdoing

  8. Those illegal miners are Zambians who don’t have jobs but want to make a living, I don’t know how they can do mining with bare hands what kind of mining is that, it could be a strange story to tell if mining could be done with bare hands, then you don’t need anyone from America to come to do the same bare hand mining.
    Zambians needs jobs the reason why they are risking their lives, but now what has started to happen Musokotwane is auctioning Zambia to IMF, that is a story of the past it was viable in 1991 and we saw the poor results of that root.
    We saw the distraction of the industry infrastructure created by KK , MMD and the related plunderers got rich out of the loot today they want to do what they did in 1991.
    Well it is the youths to blame but they will prove it…

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