By SILUMESI MALUMO
WE shall not issue multiple mining rights for Kasenseli gold area in Mwinilunga district as the area will only managed by the ZCCM-IH, Mines Minister Richard Musukwa has said.
Mr Musukwa said that gold had been identified as a strategic reserve and it should be mined in a well-structured and transparent way.
He said in an interview yesterday that Government would not risk by issuing a number of licences because the country would not benefit from the mineral.
Last week, over 100 youths of Kasenseli area in Chief Chibwika’s area petitioned Government to consider empowering them with mining rights at the newly discovered gold mine.
The youths, who gathered at the District Commissioner’s office, requested Government to allow them undertake mining activities in one of the three pits known as veins at the site.
And in receiving the petition, Mwinilunga District Commissioner (DC) Arnot Mapulanga praised youths for expressing their discontent over the gold mining activities at Kasenseli.
Mr Mapulanga said government was cognisant of the fact that any mining firm engaged at Kasenseli must first empower the local citizens, especially youths.
But the Minister said Government would not issue mining rights to any individual while youths would only benefit through the third party arrangement.
“Gold is a strategic mineral which must benefit the entire country and not just a few individuals. So the youths will benefit through an organised structure, once the anchor company ZCCM-IH has now taken over.
“This is a Cabinet decision and it must be respected,” Mr Musukwa said.
He said countries like Botswana had deployed armed soldiers to guard the areas so that the resource was exploited for the good of everyone.
And ZCCM-IH has in-cooperated ZCCM Gold to manage gold mining at Kasenseli area.
ZCCM-IH chief executive officer, Mabvuto Chipata said his management team was in the province on an ambitious program to assess the situation on the ground at Kasenseli gold mine.
Mr Chipata explained that the tour was aimed at ensuring that the resource was harnessed so that exploration works could begin and quickly move into mining.
He said this when he paid a courtesy call on Provincial Minister, Nathaniel Mubukwanu in Solwezi yesterday.
By SILUMESI MALUMO