By JOHN KOMBE
GOVERNMENT has finally handed over the equipment donated to Rufunsa gold mining cooperatives about a year ago, says Director of Mines in the ministry of Mines and Mineral Development, Fred Banda.
Mr Banda said Government was committed to ensuring that the mining cooperatives flourished and would continue to empower the locals
He called on all those who wanted to venture into small-scale mining to ensure that they followed the right procedure to legalise their operations.
Mr Banda said the handover of the equipment to the four cooperatives in Rufunsa was a sign of Government’s resolve to empower the local enterprises.
And Chomwetu Gold Mining Cooperative chairman, Emmanuel Tembo, noted that the handover of the equipment was a boost to the cooperatives.
He said that the cooperatives were now ready to step up their operations and appealed to the government to consider donating more equipment.
Mr Banda said that the donated equipment was only adequate for one cooperative and as such it would be used on a rotational basis.
He said that this would create challenges in mining operations.
Pokela Cooperative chairman, Kelvin Chitambo, said that the donation was a catalyst to the mining cooperatives and would strengthen their operations.
Mr Chitambo pointed out that the groups now had panning licences and as such their existence was now legal.
He said panning licences were meaningless if the cooperatives did not have the required equipment.