President Hakainde Hichilema’s recent visit to the Copperbelt Province has cheered stakeholders in the emerald mining sector.
Emerald Production Watch of Zambia (EPWZ) President, Musa Kafimbwa, told ZANIS in an interview that during his visit, the Head of State promised to revamp Lufwanyama’s mining sector by sending more investors to the area.
“The pronouncement has rekindled our hope and many small scale miners in the district,” said Mr Kafimbwa.
Mr Kafimbwa said encouraging more investors to do business in Lufwanyama will no doubt resuscitate many small scale miners who have failed to develop their companies due to lack of financial capacity.
He said the move is also likely to boost the production of emerald and increase the country’s revenue base.
Mr Kafimbwa has since called for patience among small scale miners as they wait for the due process to be concluded by the relevant authorities.
Meanwhile, Emerald and Semi-precious Stones Minerals Association of Zambia (ESMAZ) President, Victor Kalesha, said President Hichilema’s pronouncements have met many people’s aspirations in the emerald sector.
“The Republican President’s initiative will not only improve emerald production but create job opportunities for the youths in the area as well,” he said.
Mr Kalesha commended the Head of State for taking a bold and firm stance to urge the giant mining companies to give priority to the local people for job opportunities.
Meanwhile, Mr Kalesha also called on all key stakeholders to implement the President’s call with a sense of urgency.
He further appealed to the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development to consider engaging all relevant institutions when implementing such issues.
On Thursday last week, President Hichilema promised the people of Lufwanyama that government will look for investors to partner with many mining license holders.
The Head of State also assured Lufwanyama residents that he will soon engage the mining companies operating in the district to ensure that they start prioritising local people when employing.