Mines Minister Richard Musukwa has warned Mwinilunga residents against attempting to mine gold in the district illegally because it is potentially hazardous and could lead to loss of life.

Speaking ahead of the just-opened 2019 North-Western Province Investments Exposition in Solwezi, Musukwa told journalists that government was aware of manoeuvres by residents in Mwinilunga to mine gold illegally, a situation he expressed serious concern.

“We are aware that people are now shifting to Mwinilunga to source for gold illegally and endangering their lives in a bid to enrich themselves! This should come to an end because safety should be considered a priority before anything else,” Musukwa said.

A team of mining experts had been deployed to look at the prospects of gold in all areas of the province and ensure that all mining activities were conducted safely and legally, according to Musukwa.

He added that the entire province was covered with mining licenses that had been lying idle for years, a situation that made it easy for those on the ground to invade the spaces and start illegal activities.

“I would like to warn all those holding inactive licenses that they risk losing them as the Ministry will cancel all those idle licenses to free the ground for serious prospective investors that would want to come and develop the province,” he cautioned.

Musukwa noted that it was unfair to hold on to the licenses when other people wanted to use the same space.
He further added that the Ministry of Mines was working towards ensuring that the province, widely dubbed as the new Copperbelt, utilized its mineral benefits to open up other sectors like tourism and agriculture, among others.

“The country has been reliant on minerals for years and with the North-Western Province being the latest mining hub, resources can be channelled to other sectors, too, as a means of diversification,” said Musukwa.

And Musukwa expressed optimism that the inaugural 2019 North-Western Province Investments Expo will open several investment opportunities for the province given the rich mineral resource basin that had the potential to make the province a major investment destination.

– Courtesy of SUMA SYSTEMS.