SMALL-SCALE miners also known as “Jerabos” are excited with the idea of getting back Kitwe’s “Black Mountain” following a meeting with Mines minister and Small-Scale Miners Association of Zambia general secretary Kakoma Luneta.
Mr Luneta said the association was elated by the government’s commitment to hand over “Black Mountain” to its people on the Copperbelt.
“This is the beginning of one of the promises made by our government and President Edgar Chagwa Lungu because mining will remain one of the economic backbone of our country Zambia,” Mr Luneta said.
He said Zambia has remained a perfect case study for natural resource governance due to its long tradition of mining and experience in nationalisation and privatisation of mining companies.
Mr Luneta said by investing in its population, the government would have more skilled professionals both to create local businesses as well as an easily accessible workforce for companies entering Zambia.
He said small-scale miners would also contribute to the growth of the Gross Domestic Product from the 3.9 percent growth 4.7 percent in 2018.
Mr Luneta said through this move, the government would reduce vulnerability and poverty levels not just on the Copperbelt but in the country, owing to the fact that the “Black Mountain” would create 3, 200 jobs for young people.
“It was encouraging to see the Ministry of Mines to come and visit small- scale miners, Wusakile Vision Empowerment and Copperbelt Mineral Processing Company.
“We want to see the Department of Mines safety department to come in and train our people before commencement of mining operations,” he said.
Mr Luneta reiterated that Zambia was among the main copper producers in the world and in Africa, ranking 8th in the World (China 1st) and 2nd in Africa after the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“This shows that President Edgar Lungu is committed to empowering youths both in the mining and agriculture sector.