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GOLD MUST BENEFIT LOCALS, MINERS DEMAND

By JOHN KOMBE

SMALL-SCALE gold miners in Rufunsa have appealed to the new government to ensure that gold mining benefits the local people Chimwetu Gold Mining Cooperative chairman, Emmanuel Tembo, said yesterday that gold must first benefit the local people who were the custodians of the natural resources.

He appealed to the new government to empower the small-scale miners with requisite equipment for them to compete favourably with big companies that had adequate resources. Mr Tembo observed that empowering the local smallscale miners would help create the much needed jobs in the sector.

He said that the minerals in the rural parts of the country must first benefit the local people and the government must come up with policies that would protect the small-scale local miners. He was happy that the government had bought about 7, 143 grams of gold from small-scale miners in Rufunsa since June last year.

He pointed out that the figure would have been higher if the cooperatives had proper equipment. Mr Tembo said Government should come up with policies that would enhance mining activities for the emerging miners in gold sub-sector. He was however happy GOLD MUST BENEFIT LOCALS, MINERS DEMAND that the government had supported the formalization of gold mining cooperatives in the area. He was also thankful that the government had empowered the small-scale miners with equipment and training.

Mr Tembo however said that the equipment was not adequate to enable the mining cooperatives effectively carry out their mining activities. He said the cooperatives were struggling to carry out their operations as they have had to share the limited equipment among four cooperatives.

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