By HELEN ZULU –
THE formalisation of illegal gold mining and trade in Zambia by the Government is progressing well with four more mining cooperatives expected to be launched in Petauke District by mid April 2018.
The Government recently commenced the formalisation of illegal gold mining and trading in Zambia and gave out the first three certificates to three mining cooperatives in Rufunsa District.
Mines and Minerals development permanent secretary Paul Chanda said his ministry in partnership with the ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry intended to promote responsible mineral production and supply chains by encouraging legalisation and formalisation of small scale gold mining and trading.
Mr Chanda said Government through this exercise was putting in place mining cooperatives that would later be given letters of operations on where they would be mining their gold.
He said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that at least four more cooperatives were ready to be launched by mid this month in Petauke.
“What we are trying to do is to remove the illegal mining traders and we partnered with ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry where we are moving into these areas including Vubwi, Petauke and Rufunsa among others to do the exercise.
“We are going to launch at least four more cooperatives in Petauke towards the middle of this month once we are ready, we will travel to Petauke to launch,” Mr Chanda said.
He explained that the two ministries had been moving into these areas to sensitise people around of the possibility that Government would send security in the areas any time and telling them not to entertain foreigners who were buying the gold at the cheap price.
“We are also putting in place cooperatives who we shall later allocate letters of operation where they can mine the gold and also have a market through Zambia Consolidated Copper Mine Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) where they can sale their products,” Mr Chanda said.
The formalisation is part of the European Union funded €1.4 million Trade Related Facility (TRF) project which aims to among other things help Government map and formalise the gold mining sector in the country.