By SILUMESI MALUMO
THE closure of Chamboli copper dump site in Kitwe by Mopani Copper Mines has disappointed the Small-Scale Miners Association of Zambia.
Its executive director, Kunda Chani, said the dump site had been a source of income for small-scale miners.
Mr Chani said over 8, 000 small-scale miners had been directly benefitting from the site and sending them on the street was the last thing the association had expected from the mining giant.
He said there was a high level of unemployment in the Copperbelt Province and the closure of the Chamboli dump site would cause severe economic hardships.
There were more youths earning a living as small-scale miners on the Copperbelt than in any other source of employment and such disruptions should attract immediate government attention.
“With youths engaged as small-scale miners, it reduces bad vices such as sex immorality, drunkenness, theft thereby building strong communities free of crimes,” Mr Chani said.
He said the association would engage both Mopani and the government to find an amicable solution.
“The truth is that we can’t offload such a huge number onto the streets and expect no repercussions,” Mr Chani said.
Mopani had notified the government that it was going to bury the sink hole the small-scale miners had been using and close the dump site to avoid a disaster.