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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Govt to give 30 percent shares in Black mountain to youths

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Ministry of Mines Permanent Secretary, Barnaby Mulenga says government may consider giving out its 30 per cent shares in the black mountain to the youths in Kitwe following the High Court Judgement that allowed it to pull out of its partnership with Nkana Alloy and Smelting Company Limited.

Following the court judgement last week, government remained with 30 per cent share in the black mountain after it gave out its 10 per cent to youths three years ago.

Speaking in an interview in Kitwe yesterday in response to calls by youths engaged in small scale mining asking government to hand over the shares to them, Mr. Mulenga said his Ministry will next week issue a statement on how it will manage the 30 per cent shares.

“We will issue a statement on the matter next week and giving the facility to the youths is one of the options,” Mr. Mulenga said.

Earlier, Chapamo Mineral Resources Director, Kelvin Tembo appealed to government to once again give the youths part of its stake in the black mountain to cushion the youths from the adverse effects of COVID-19.

Mr. Tembo said youths needs some form of empowerment adding that offering them part of the black mountain to exploit mineral resources would be the best empowerment at the moment.

“Our expectation is that we get some more shares , as youths we need a cushioning from the effects of COVID-19 ,as you know these effects are so immense on the youths, so we expect government will give us some more shares since we have a listening and caring government,” he said.

And Mr. Tembo said if given the opportunity to mine from the black mountain again, the youths will ensure that safety measures are put in place to avoid any form of accident.

He noted that the accidents that happened the last time youths were given an opportunity to mine from the black mountain were as a result of lack of experience which cannot occur this time around.

“Accidents were bound to happen because at that time the mining operations were in their infancy but now we have learnt quiet a lot and we will put modalities to ensure that no accidents happen be it injuries or fatalities,” Mr. Tembo said.

Last week, the Lusaka High Court granted government a go ahead to pull out of Nkana Alloy and Smelting Company Limited and repossess 30 per cent of the black mountain.

Three years ago government gave youths in Kitwe 10 per cent of the black mountain for mining activities which has since been exhausted.

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