Minister of Mines and Mineral Development Paul Kabuswe says government has instituted investigations to establish the owner of the mining license where three illegal gold miners died after they were buried alive in Mumbwa District.
Mr Kabuswe indicated during a media briefing that by tomorrow Wednesday 16th August 2023 the owner of the mine in question will be known.
“Our investigation are ongoing so as to establish who owns that license, and am sure by tomorrow we will be able to know and the law will take its course,” he said.
He said once the owner of the mine is known; government will deal decisively as the full wrath of the law will be applied.
The Minister assured the nation that government will ensure that the measures it will take will serve as a warning to mine owners.
Mr Kabuswe reiterated that the decisive measure to be taken by government is meant to curb future human loss as a result of illegal mining.
He explained that according to the law, mine owners are required to protect sites were they operate from.
Mr Kabuswe said it is unacceptable to lose lives through illegal mining activities.
He stressed that mine owners have the responsibility to protect their mines against illegal mining.
The Minister has since conveyed a message of condolences to the bereaved families.
“My condolences to the family that lost their loved at a certain mine in Mumbwa district,” he said.
Meanwhile the Minister Mines and Mineral Development has taken a swipe at some people for spreading falsehoods on social media concerning the alleged gold seized yesterday by the Drug Enforcement Commission.
Mr Kabuswe said it was unwise for some opposition leaders to rush to the media to make statements without verifying the facts.
He counselled opposition leaders to emulate government who waited for a report containing facts to be availed before addressing the media.
“As government when heard about this issue we did not go to the media and beginning talking anyhow, we had to get facts,” the Minister stated.
He wondered how one can govern the country based on speculation instead of facts.
Mr Kabuswe explained that according to the vigorous tests conducted by a special team instituted by the Ministry of Mines, the seized bar of alleged gold is not gold as reported.
He explained that from the tests conducted it was found that the alleged gold contained traces of copper, zinc and tine among others.
“ The alleged gold bars contained copper in the range of 58 to 61 percent, zinc in the range of 38 to 41 percent, traces of tine………”Mr Kabuswe clarified.
He explained that the four boxes seized of alleged gold contained 602 bars with a mass of 127.28 kgs.
Mr Kabuswe added that a report was compiled and sent to the Drug Enforcement Commission indicating what the tests reviewed.
He disclosed that the team that conducted the tests of the alleged gold included a Chief Geologists, Senior Meteorologist and Senior Chemists.