The Emeralds and Small- Scale Mining Association of Zambia (ESMAZ) has appealed to government to stop multi-national companies from processing copper from dumpsites in Chingola and other districts.
In a statement released to ZANIS in Kitwe today, ESMAZ president, Victor Kalesha said processing of copper from dumpsites should be left to local small scale miners who need such empowerment while multi-national companies should instead invest in large scale mining.
Mr Kalesha said what is happening in Chingola is disheartening because multi-national companies are the ones that are now processing the slag in the dumpsites.
“We have big companies in Chingola that are processing copper from the dumpsites, creating an impression that they are mining,” he said.
Mr Kalesha said it is important for the companies to invest in explorations and begin to conduct mining activities rather than processing Copper from the dumpsite.
He said the scavenging of Copper in dumpsites is supposed to be left to the Zambian youths or the local companies as that would help create job opportunities for the local people.
“Multi-national companies are supposed to open new mines and employ the local people instead of processing dumpsites,’’ Mr Kalesha stressed.
He said the youths of Chingola are concerned with the development and are afraid they might not have any source of income if the trend continues.
He said big companies should set up serious mining operations as opposed to fighting for dumpsites with youths commonly known as Jerabos.
He appealed to Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, Richard Musukwa to intervene in the matter before the youths are left jobless.
Mr Kalesha said some named big companies are only digging and hauling the material which they found instead of venturing into mining.
He also called on Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu to also allow the youths to process material in the dumpsites, the same way the named companies are doing it.
Meanwhile, One Pride Group Cooperatives, an association comprising small-scale miners have written to Mr Musukwa, asking him to halt a company called Moxico Resources Limited from processing the dumpsites in Chingola.
The youths say Moxico Resources Limited is a big company which is supposed to venture into exploration works instead of mining at the dumpsites.