By GIDEON NYENDWA
GOVERNMENT should take advantage of the offer for equipment by Grizzly Mining Limited, Emeralds and Semi-Precious Stones Mining Association of Zambia (ESMAZ) President Victor Kalesha has said.
Mr. Kalesha said the company was geared to procure mining equipment for small-scale emerald miners but needed the involvement of the government in the process.
Grizzly Mining Limited committed to spend $10 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.
Mr Kalesha said change of government delayed the process because one of the requirements Grizzly wanted was to sign a memorandum of understanding with the miners and government for them to actualise the pledge.
“As things stand Grizzly is just waiting for us and the government,” he said.
Mr. Kalesha said the pledge was long overdue and hoped the new government will cooperate.
He said Grizzly was waiting for the government to issue one block licence for all the cooperatives that will be amalgamated for them to procure the equipment they had pledged.
Mr Kalesha said there were five cooperatives, which were working on modalities to form a block cooperative and work together.
He said that they are just waiting for the new minister of mines to settle. “We’ll update the minister on the progress when he settles,” he said.