By NOEL IYOMBWA
SMALL-SCALE miners and youths should form cooperatives to enable them benefit from the dumpsites across the country, Mines and Mineral Development Minister Paul Kabuswe has said.
Mr Kabuswe told journalists in Lusaka that the ministry is ready to offer artisanal mining licences to youths that will form cooperatives without any challenges.
He also clarified that the government early this month suspended mining activities at all dumpsites to bring sanity to the operations.
Mr. Kabuswe said the process of reorganising the dumpsites is aimed at ensuring that youths benefit in a fair and safe manner to avoid situations where the same people are benefitting.
He said the government will provide safety officers to offer comprehensive training to small-scale miners so that they conduct their activities in a safe environment.
“People are making false statements over the dumpsites across the country.
“This is causing misunderstandings. The reason why we decided to tell the small-scale miners to lay back was because we wanted to reorganise all the sites across the country.
“We want a cross section of youths to benefit from the dumpsite and ensure that they mine in an orderly manner. My ministry is ready to give artisanal mining licences to youths who will form cooperatives without any challenges,” Mr. Kabuswe said.
He explained that the government wants to protect youths and ensure that they have fair share of the different dumpsites across the country.
Mr. Kabuswe also observed that the future of mining is bright in the country including that of Mopani and Konkola Copper Mines.