By ROGERS KALERO
SMALL-SCALE miners who will receive K228m worth of equipment from Grizzly Mining Limited must work hard to boost the emerald sub-sector and grow the country’s economy, Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) President Joseph Chewe has said
Mr Chewe said the idea by Grizzly Mining to give support to small-scale miners in Lufwanyama area of the Copperbelt was a positive development which Zambians in the emerald industry must utilise to the full.
Last week, Grizzly Mining Limited committed to spend $10 million (K228 million) to procure mining equipment for small-scale emerald miners.
The giant mining firm would procure the equipment on condition that the small-scale miners in Lufwanyama, numbering 600, form cooperatives and acquire a single mining licence.
Mr Chewe, therefore, urged Zambians to always seize every opportunity to run various sectors of the economy starting from the mines to other sectors.
He said small scale miners should receive the initiative with both hands to ensure that they could contribute to the growth of the economy.
Kagem Merald Mining has also committed to providing equipment after a meeting with Mines Permanent Secretary, Barnaby Mulenga.
“The offer from the two giant emerald mining companies is most welcome and I am urging the small-scale miners to see how it will work out. The most important issue now is Zambians running their own economy and this is why we commend President Lungu for the stance taken on KCM and Mopani.
“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
Recently, Grizzly Vice-Chairman, Abdoul Ba, said that his firm had been holding consultative meetings with Government and was hopeful that the scheme would take off soon.
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.