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KAGEM, GRIZZLY TO SUPPORT SMALL SCALE MINERS

By ROGERS KALERO

KAGEM and Grizzly Emerald Mining companies of Lufwanyama have agreed to support small-scale miners in the area with equipment, drilling and exploration support,” Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development Permanent Secretary Barnaby Mulenga has said.

Mr Mulenga however stated that the two mining companies had proposed that it would be much easier for the two emerald mining giants to help the small-scale mining companies if they joined together.

The small-scale miners have received the news with mixed feelings and are doubting the genuineness of the gesture and have since asked for time to consult the membership before making a final decision.

During a press briefing at Katilungu House in Kitwe with the small-scale miners, Mr Mulenga said during the separate meetings with two giant emerald mines, they stated that they were ready to support the small-scale miners with equipment, drilling and exploration support.

At the same press briefing, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) spoke about the K10 billion stimulus package.

Mr Mulenga said apart from equipment, drilling and exploration support, the two mining companies also hinted that they would be able to look for the market of the emeralds being produced by the small-scale miners.

He, however stated that the two mining companies had proposed that it would be much easier for the two emerald mining giants to help the small-scale mining companies if they joined together.

“Kagem has agreed to help you with drilling and exploration support while Grizzly has agreed to help you with equipment but the issue is that you should come together so that it is easier for these mining companies to help you.

“It would be difficult for Grizzly and Kagem to be moving from one mine to the other to give their respective support. There are about more than 400 idle emerald mines in Lufwanyama hence the importance of coming together,” Mr Mulenga said.

And in response, Emerald and Semi-Precious Minerals Association of Zambia President Victor Kalesha said the association members would sit to digest the initiative from the government and also the presentation which the BoZ had made regarding the K10 billion stimulus package.

“As an association, we are ready to talk or discuss, but our discussions should materialise. As Government, we will see how you will bridge the gap and see how things will move,” Mr Kalesha said.

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