The government has called on Traditional leaders and private investors to ensure proper management of Mineral resources.
Speaking at the Mkushi Mining Indaba in Mkushi today held under the theme “Making Natural Resources Work for The People of Mkushi” Central Province Permanent Secretary Milner Mwanakambwe represented by the Central Province Acting Secretary Mwape Kasanda emphasized the need for cordial engagements among the trial citing the ramped illegal mining.
Mr Kasanda said that the government is committed to engaging the illegal miners across the country to formalize their operations.
He added that the mining industry plays a key role in fostering development and will help to benefit communities in addition to National Gross Domestic Product anchoring on environmental, social, and governance.
“As such this calls for deliberate efforts on the part of Chiefs, government leaders and you our partners to ensure Sustainable Development and proper management of mineral resources not just at district level but also at national level, as our economy is anchored by the mining sector which historically, has been a major contributor to our development,” he stated
Mr Kasanda Mkushi explained that Mkushi as a district, is endowed with vast mineral resources that largely remain undiscovered and unexploited, the district has immense potential in the Artisanal and Small Scale mining sub-sectors which unfortunately still remains uncoordinated and full of confusion because of rampant illegal mining of minerals, it is therefore, for this reason that the government of his excellence President Hakainde Hichilema is calling upon all youths and communities engaged in illegal mining of different types of minerals to formalize their operations, as this will ensure that there is maximum benefit from the God given Natural resources to benefit everyone in the communities and contribute to the National Gross Domestic Product (NGDP).
“The mining industry players play a key role in fostering development in Mkushi district and as government we are committed to support you in ensuring that together we build a resilient and sustainable mining industry anchored on environmental, social and governance standards, and best practice,” Mr Kasanda said
And Chief Chitima of Mkushi disclosed that there are a lot of illegal miners in Mkushi who need to be educated on the procedure on how to acquire a mining license, as all the procedures to acquire a mining license should be followed without using any short cuts.
“I want to thanked the New Dawn Government for ensuring that there are no shortcuts like how things were being done in the previous government,” Chief Chitima said
Meanwhile, Mkushi District Commissioner Jonathan Kapungwe stated that Mkushi is blessed with abundant Minerals, Excellent Agriculture soil and good rainfall yet the local families have remained in abject poverty, adding that he hopes that after this mining indaba, lasting solutions will be found on how Mkushi district and its people may benefit more from the natural resources, specifically minerals resources.
Mr Kapungwe reviewed mining as one of the most influential economic activities that are witnessed by the emergence of many mining operations.
He has however called on the stakeholders to invest in Mkushi and pay attention to the need to invest more in education and upliftment of the local population who have continued to wallow in poverty and illiteracy.
“The ownership of the majority of these mines is foreign and benefits of the mining operations do not accrue to the local population or our chiefs in any remarkable measure, this sad fact has led to complaints from the local community that bears the harshness of these mining activities and a lot of our youths have resorted to Illegal mining activities in order to survive,” he said
The Indaba was attended by Traditional Leaders, Private Investors, Small Scale mines, and Government Agencies including the Zambia Environment Management Agency Department of wildlife and Forestry Department.