From Mailoni brothers to gold mining …….Two tales of ‘golden’ Luano District
Published On January 24, 2018 » 7309 Views» By Evans Musenya Manda » Business, Columns
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THE chapter on the Mailoni Brothers that caused terror in the valley of Luano in now Luano District in Central Province was closed.
Truly, since the gunning down of the trio by the Zambia Army in 2013, development slowly started in the area as government was now able to plan on how to take real civilisation to the area.
Unlike other parts of the country, Luano is unique in some sense due to its potentiality in being the rudder for the national growth given its untapped natural wealth.
Luano, located south of Mkushi district and on the eastern side of Kabwe town, sits on the high deposits of gold, copper, silver, Zinc and other minerals.
The area is also endowed with large arable land so attractive to farming activities and not to talk about the abundance wild animals that if properly taken care of may attract a lot of tourists.
For those with ideas on game ranching, this is the place to go to.
The area also boasts of the famous Lunsemfwa and Mulungushi Rivers and many other tributaries with massive sources of proteins for the country, should the policy makers encourage fish farming.
However, the most attractive discovery is that of minerals which have for a long time remained unexploited, except by illegal miners!
The illegal miners who focus most on gold are mostly found in Chiefs Mbosha and Kanyesha of the Lala speaking people.
Illegal gold mining is taking place countrywide with rampant activities recorded in Vubwi, Petauke, Rufunsa and Luano.
Recently, the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development undertook a scoping mission to Vubwi in Eastern Province, Rufansa in Lusaka and Luano in Central Province to assess the extent of illegal gold mining and the findings revealed a high level of illegal mining.
Miners in the affected areas lack information regarding taxation and formalisation requirements due to nonavailability of Government offices in areas where illegal mining is conducted.
The Ministry of Commerce,Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development have partnered to promote responsible mining and trade of gold in various parts of the country.
The two ministries intend to promote responsible mineral production and supply chains by encouraging legalisation and formalisation of small scale mining and trading.
Government has since embarked on the process of curbing this illegal gold mining and trade.
This is being done through various interventions, one of them being the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Trade Related Facility (TRF) Project which is funded by the European Union.
For Luano district no one knows where these minerals that are mined illegally from these areas are taken except that more ditches grin and welcome those who visit the place.
This was the scenario for the delegation led by Luano District Commissioner, Christopher Chibuye and Council Chairperson Gabriel Mwami last weekend.
The district authorities have put their heads together and have come up with a number of proposals which, if implemented fully, would bring about development to the country.
So far one investor, Aural Mining Limited, is the area for gold mining.
Mr Chibuye and Rev Mwami are happy about that the investor would spearhead investment in the district.
So far, Aural Mining Limited has employed 13 workers and has mobilised its machinery and a gold plant has been constructed in the area.
Mr Chibuye, says the district has a vision of one day becoming a “golden district”, because of its gold deposits.
He says Luano is one of the best districts in Zambia because it has all that needs to be exploited to set up a mining city.
Luano has a number of rivers, mineral wealth, game animals and arable land.
“I just want to appeal to serious investors to think of coming to Luano district and invest in whatever they feel like as the district is blessed with a lot of natural resources,” Mr Chibuye said.
Mr Chibuye says that there are samples of gold which were tested and proved that the deposits are of A-grade.
“You can see what I mean when I say if investors are interested in the mine sector let them come to Luano and explore on many other minerals present in the area,” he says.
Mr Chibuye says that the beauty about having a new district is that it comes with new facilities, new ideas, new potentials and new exploits of which Luano is not an exception.
He says that to achieve meaningful development, government is currently doing the planning through the local authority and the
grading of the roads by the Zambia National Service.
“Government is currently making modalities to have the area accessible and also through the Rural Electrification Authority to provide power in Luano district,” he says.
Mr Chibuye says that Luano has a powerful vision and is proud of the natural resources and once exploited fully the district would be a golden district.
He says investors should turn out in large numbers so that the area could change forever and be the most admired city in the country.
Reverend Mwami explains that Luano has high expectation as it is gifted with natural resources.
He says if infrastructure developments such as roads are looked into, the district will have an influx of investors coming to exploit in mining, tourism and agriculture sectors.
Rev Mwami observes that Luano has a potential of feeding the whole nation especially when the farmland is developed.
“The land is fertile the only hindrance is the road network which should be opened up. The only challenge at the moment is transportation, even if one was to grow crops on large scale, market won’t be there,” Rev Mwami says.
Rev Mwami calls on the relevant authorities on roads and electricity to help the district to develop faster by providing these services.
He observes that when the area has good roads and electricity is taken, Luano will witness massive development in the area of mining, agriculture and game ranches thereby boosting the economy of the country.
“You may be aware that investment comes with trade and other industries that come with them.
“Employment opportunities are hidden in Luano district, once the investors start investing lives of many people will be uplifted by opportunities which will be created here,” he says.
The traditional leaders in the district have equally put their heads together to come up with ideas and have given the government a credit for creating the area as a district.
Chief Mbosha expresses gladness that Aural Mining Limited, a South African company has been spotted in his chiefdom.
“Even though the road network is bad at least we have seen an investor coming to my chiefdom to mine gold.
“Aural Mining Limited has employed 13 workers and has mobilised its machinery and a gold plant has been constructed,” the traditional ruler says.
The traditional ruler says before Luano was declared a district it lagged behind in terms of social amenities but as at now we have started seeing changes coming in, in our district.
There is need for the local authorities to sensitise the people on the need to avoid illegal gold mining so that all members of the public can benefit.
On its part, the Government should expedite the upgrading of the roads and the provision of other facilities to the area to improve communication and woo investors.

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