By Oscar Nkala:
The Zambian government says it will this month set up four new gold mining cooperatives to help formalise illegal miners and end mineral revenue leakages in the Petauke Mining District.
Mines and Minerals Development ministry Permanent Secretary Paul Chanda said the formalisation process, which is being done in conjunction with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, is intended to promote responsible behaviour by actors in the mineral production and supply value chains.
The four new mining co-operatives will be granted gold mining licences and linked to the markets through the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mine Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) to help market their products.
Three other gold mining cooperatives are already operating in the Petauke Mining District.
“What we are trying to do is to remove the illegal mining traders and we partnered with ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry where we are moving into areas including Vubwi, Petauke and Rufunsa to do the exercise.
We are going to launch at least four more cooperatives in Petauke by the middle of this month,” Chanda said.
The project to formalise illegal gold mining and trading is part of a €1.4 million fund availed by the European Union to help the Zambian government formalise and regulate widespread illegal gold mining across the country.