ILLEGAL mining activities are said to erode the country of the much needed foreign exchange earnings.
It’s sad that Zambia is losing colossal sums of money through illegal mining activities.
In 2008 Lumwana Mining Company (LMC) Managing Director Harry Michael expressed worry at the illegal mining activities by unscrupulous individuals taking place in the LMC licence area.
Mr. Michael said it was unfortunate that some individuals had started mining illegally in the LMC licence area before its rightful owners could start production.
Mr. Michael reiterated that Lumwana Mining Company which is fully owned by Equinox Minerals would be the largest single investment in the country’s mining once production commences in the second quarter of this year.
He however warned management and other stakeholders to become responsible once production begins so as to safeguard the 37-year life span of the mine, adding that being irresponsible towards the mine would shorten its life span.
Given this backdrop, it makes sad reading that illegal miners have invaded Kalwa Ward in Mkushi where unlawful mining has become rampant.
The local councillor Gerald Manda should ensure that all culprits are brought to book to stop the trend.
There is need for the government to urgently intervene in the matter to curb the increasing illicit mining activities in the area.
Illegal miners are using forged documents purporting to have been obtained from the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development.
The situation is worrying and needs urgent attention by the relevant authorities.