Zam Gold, a special purpose vehicle established to buy gold on behalf of the Government will soon move to a site in Kanyelele area in Mpika District to start the uptake of gold from formalised artisanal miners.
This came to light in Mpika when Muchinga Province Permanent Secretary Henry Mukunguke met the taskforce setup for the purpose of actualising gold buying at Kanyelele.
Mr Mukungule is happy that finally, gold mining in Kanyelele is being formalised and that Zam Gold is going to be a legal buyer of the mineral commodity.
The Permanent Secretary said the formalised buying of gold in Kanyelele will ensure that the Government gets maximised benefits from the gold through taxes.
“If this is formalised and then we have people who have artisanal mining licenses, then we know that they will be paying something to the Government and the Government is going to benefit out of that,” he said.
At the same time, the Muchinga Permanent Secretary stated the desire of the Provincial Administration is to start seeing the benefits of gold mining accrue to the people and the area.
“The desire is that when a natural resource like this one is found, we should also start seeing change in the area because we don’t want a situation where we are only going to be left with holes and then the place remains the same,” he said.
ZCCM-IH holds a 51 percent share in Zam Gold while the Ministry of Finance owns the rest 49 percent.
A team compromising Zambia National Service (ZNS), Zam Gold, Ministry of Mining and its Cadastral Department arrived in Mpika yesterday on a mission to identify a strategic site that Zam Gold will use to buy gold.
The taskforce leader ZNS Lieutenant Colonel Mateo Kumwenda told Muchinga Permanent Secretary that the Government set up the taskforce to formalise the illegal mining, adding that the team is moving on the ground to identify an operations site in Kanyelele for Zam-Gold operations.
During the meeting, the Permanent Secretary informed the taskforce that he was happy that finally, a Cabinet decision made sometime back based on the desire by the provincial administration in Muchinga to see controlled mining at Kanyelele is now actualised.
“We did a report to Cabinet about the discovery of gold and a meeting was called from which it was decided that we needed to legalise the mining that was taking place there,” Mr Mukungule said.
He mentioned that the other worry was that local people did not know the pricing of the gold and were being cheated out by outsiders to sell gold at a giveaway price.
“So a lot of our people lost out, by the time they came to know the real value of what they were processing it was too late and other people had actually benefited,” he said.