Small-scale miners cry foul over dumpsite

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SANFROSSA MANYINDA writes

SMALL-SCALE miners in Chingola have expressed disappointment that Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) has sidelined them in preference to a British-owned, Moxico Resources Limited to own the Mimbula dumpsite.

One Group of Cooperatives said it was disappointing that KCM had decided to sideline Zambians in preference to a foreign firm which would be externalising all his profits other than doing business with small scale miners.

Group Executive Director, Victor Kalesha, said that it would have been better to have small-scale miners manage the dumpsite as their gains would circulate internally to benefit all Zambians.

“What is more disappointing is that the said investor who is supposed to be conducting explorations and mining is simply loading and supplying materials from the dumpsites to KCM for processing that is supposed to be left for local small scale miners,” he said.

Mr Kalesha said that it was wrong to have foreign investors create competition with jobs that could easily be done by Zambians.

He explained that small- scale miners had been finding it difficult to find where to process their materials since the time they were awarded a dumpsite by the Ministry of Mines under the youth empowerment scheme. This, he said, was because they were labeled as thugs by KCM which later refused to meet them to strike a deal.

He said that the need to prioritize locals to supply stock pile materials to KCM to fulfil the empowerment could not be overemphasized. Mr Kalesha observed the need for KCM to consider small-scale miners as partners in the development agenda of the country by allowing them to earn a living and become good citizens.

“We therefore urge the ministry of mines to engage the mine on our behalf so that we are also given priority to pro- cess materials at KCM plant in a similar manner as done with MOXICO Resources,” he said.

Government, he said, should instruct the foreign investor to concentrate on exploration and mining and leave supplying of dumpsite materials for the locals until their stocks were depleted.

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