By NATION REPORTER
GRIZZLY Mining Limited has empowered 1, 500 youths with a mineral dumpsite in Lufwanyama as a contribution to improving the living standards of the local people.
Meanwhile, the dispute between Grizzly principal Mr Abdoulaye Ndiaye and his Israeli opponent Israeli diamond billionaire Lev Leviev of Gemacanton has been resolved. The Mine is now back under the control of Mr. Ndiaye.
This follows a settlement between the two.
And the emerald mining firm has allowed youths to knock out valuable components from the dumpsite on the fringes of the vast mine site, rich in precious stones.
Grizzly Mining Vice-Chairman, Abdoul Ba, said that youths were operating in smaller groups, each with a leader to oversee the operations as they rummage through the blasted rocks, which are dumped after a requisite mining process. The mine has returned to full operations following the settlement of the dispute between its principal partners.
He said in an interview that it would be inhuman to chase away the youth, who throng the dumpsite as early as 06:00 hours to chance some emeralds.
Mr Ba said youths were earning a living and supporting their families through the sake of stones, a contribution the company would maintain.
“These people come from Lumpuma chiefdom and others come from Chief Nkana’s area. This is how they look after themselves and their families. We allow them around here to pick some stones and they are not a security threat, although some of them may attempt to jump over the wire near our pits.
Mr Ba said Grizzly would continue to contribute to poverty reduction around Lufwanyama as a way of supplementing Government efforts.
He said the company has been supporting Grizzly Community School which has pupils from grades one to seven and Kamakanga Clinic, providing health services to the local community.
The mining firm, he said, was also assisting the pupils from vulnerable families meet their fees and other school requirements such as uniforms.
Meanwhile, Grizzly Manager – Human Resources and Corporate Affairs, Davy Phiri, said the mining firm would this year spend about K3 million on corporate social responsibility programmes, which include support to tradition ceremonies to the tune of K150, 000 and chiefs’ visitations at K100, 000.
Mr Phiri said K500, 000 would be for support to Government institutions, including local police posts and stations, education institutions and labour office.
He said non-governmental organisations had been allocated K250, 000 while K240, 000 would go towards community assistance. Emergency support has been projected at K300, 000 with publicity services allocated K50, 000 this year.
According to Mr Phiri, the projects already executed had gobbled K1, 389, 542 and include donation of armyworm pesticides to farmers worth K200, 000 while the rehabilitation of Nkana Road, which is on-going, would gobble K1 million.