By JOHN KOMBE
gold miners have continued selling the commodity to foreigners and other briefcase buyers, says a senior official in the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development.
Meanwhile, government is ready to offer gold miners lucrative prices if they stop selling the commodity to briefcase buyers.
Director of Mines Fred Banda said Government was offering a better price than foreign and private buyers.
He advised gold miners in Rufunsa to sell their gold to ZCCM-IH
Mr Banda said that the gold mining areas had been invaded by foreign buyers who were offering a lower price for the commodity.
“We expect the gold miners to reciprocate government support by ensuring that all the gold is sold to ZCCM-IH,” he Banda said.
Mr Banda said that the ministry had now trained the miners on how to use the equipment that had been lying idle.
Miners, he said, had also been training on how to manage the cooperatives.
He however said that equipment such as detectors were not adequate and advised the four cooperatives to take turns in identifying the sites with gold potential.
“The cooperatives must work as a team and allow one cooperative to use the detectors to locate potential mining sites and then hand over to the next cooperative. This is the only way they can work for now,” he said.
And Pokela Gold Mining Cooperative vice chairman, Josias Malunga, said that the cooperatives had already started their mining activities.
Mr Malunga said that the mining activities had started from the Kakoswe area that lies between Kamwenshya and Chipeketi in Chintimbwi ward of Rufunsa.
He said that the cooperatives agreed to take turns due to the limited equipment.
He was however optimistic that the cooperatives would scale up their activities with time.
Meanwhile, Chimwetu Gold Mining Cooperative chairman, Emmanuel Tembo, also confirmed that the Ministry of Mines and ZCCM-IH had handed over the equipment and offered basic training on how to use them.
Mr Tembo however appealed to Government to consider donating more equipment so as to ensure increased production.
He thanked the government for its support and added that the cooperatives would ensure that all the gold was sold to ZCCM-IH.