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Illegal mining at dump sites looming with prolonged ban, warns union

By KETRA KALUNGA

Illegal mining activities at the dump sites would soon resurface if the government delays to lift the ban that was effected last September, National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) has warned.

In September last year, Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe suspended mining activities at all dumpsites until there was sanity in the operations.

NUMAW national treasurer Saul Simunjika said the government should consider lifting the ban and quickly give a clear roadmap on how activities would be conducted once works at the dump sites resume.

Mr. Simunjila said in an interview that any more delay would force youths, including those who were legally operating there before the ban to engage in the illegal mining activities.

“The direction from Government is needed because in its absence you will see illegal activates resuming even by the same youth companies that were allowed to work there before the ban, they will start sending street boys to conduct mining activities illegally,” Mr. Simunjila said.

Youths on the copperbelt recently demanded for a clear roadmap on how activities will be conducted at the dump site once operations resume.

Government in September last year suspended mining activities at all dumpsites until there was sanity in the operations.

Mr Kabuswe said the government wanted sanity and order to be restored in the operations while it promotes small-scale mining in the dumpsites. 

He also said that there was need to create a legal framework for youths to fairly participate in small-scale mining. 

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