The president of Emerald and Semi-Precious Stones Mining Association of Zambia (ESMAZ), Victor Kalesha, has claimed that government is at the verge of revoking over 2000 small scale mining licences.
Kalesha is worried that the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development wants to revoke the licences owned by local investors, to be given to multi-national companies.
In an interview with journalists on Tuesday, he appealed to President Hakainde Hichilema to save the over 2000 Zambian-owned licences because this would affect the local investors.
“It is disappointing that the newly appointed Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development Permeant Secretary, Hapenga Kabeta, has prioritised foreigners.
“We asking the Republican President to consider talking to his technocrats at the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development to as them to engage us. We have tried to meet the President and we have been blocked by the people at the ministry because of various ill intentions that they have for their fellow Zambians,” Kalesha said.
He encouraged the ministry to work with small scale miners as it was essential for the country’s development and economic growth.
Kalesha stressed that it was important for government to engage small scale miners and provide a road map up to enhance mining development in the country.
“We are in talks with our friends in Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya and Madagascar in small scale mining sector and we exchange notes. We have found that their governments are more concerned with empowering them and increasing their levels of production rather than threatening them with laws to revoke the licences,” he said.
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