By NATION REPORTER
GRIZZLY Mining Limited has committed to spend $10 million (K228 million) to procure mining equipment for small-scale emerald miners.
The giant mining firm was ready to procure the equipment on condition that the small-scale miners in Lufwanyama, numbering 600, form cooperatives and acquire a single mining licence.
Grizzly Vice-Chairman, Abdoul Ba, said in an interview yesterday that his firm had been holding consultative meetings with Government and was hopeful that the scheme would take off soon.
“The condition is that all the small-scale mines should form cooperatives and then amalgamate into a single entity so that Government can issue a mining licence. We had discussions with Government last week on Thursday and our colleagues from Kagem Mining were also present.
“On our part as Grizzly, we are prepared to procure equipment for them and we will spend $10 million on condition that they form cooperatives and get amalgamated so that a single mining licence can be granted,” he said.
Mr Ba explained that Grizzly would procure four dump trucks at $600,000 each, two excavators at $800,000 each and two bulldozers worth $1.3 million each.
He said his mining firm would also procure two graders (at $400,000 each), two mining water pumps ($200,000 each), three drilling machines for exploration ($800,000 each) and one water bowser worth $600,000.
According to Mr Ba, there would be need to conduct snap exploration and ensure that only viable mines benefitted as many of them may not be rich in precious minerals.
Grizzly Mining, he said, was committed to contributing to the growth of the emerald sub-sector in a manner that would benefit the local small-scale miners and ultimately contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
Mr Ba appealed to small-scale miners to expedite the formation of cooperatives and ultimately amalgamate into a single entity to allow Government issue a mining licence.
He said although emerald mining appears simple, it was not as basic as people think because it requires technical knowhow and proper management as well as discipline.
Mr Ba explained that emerald mining also required patience as production was not instant and could take a long period before high-grade emerald could be produced.
He said, therefore, that the Zambian small-scale miners would have to demonstrate resilience, patience, discipline and proper management and technical skills.