By CHATULA KANGALI –
THE Ministry of Mines is seeking K5 million to formalise small scale gold mining across the country.
Last year, the ministry suspended all small scale gold mining licence to pave way for clearance following increased illegal mining.
Ministry of mines permanent secretary Paul Chanda said in an interview that the ministry had applied to the Ministry of Finance for a funding of K5 million.
Mr Chanda said the ministry was currently reviewing the sector before lifting the suspension of small scale good mining licences.
He said the ministry would conduct survey and a geological mapping to ascertain the extent of gold mineralisation in the country.
“Before we start giving people licences , we want to know how much gold we have and where the mineral is located, we have had increased illegal mining and Government has not been benefiting,” he said.
Mr Chanda said there were some illegal gold mining activities in Launo, central province, Vubwi and Petauke in Eastern province.
He said Government would not allow players in the sector to illegally mine the mineral.
Mr Chanda said once the funds were allocated, his ministry would work with ZCCM Investment Holding( IH) to provide capital and proper market for small scale gold miners in the country.
He said the ministry would train the players on how they could mine the mineral in a safe way without posing danger to human and the environment.
He said small gold miners in the country were being exploited by international buyers who buy the mineral direct from them.