Government must endeavour to be transparent and consultative in its new gold mining ventures being spearheaded by ZCCM-IH for all stakeholders to clearly understand their game plan and reap dividends, says CTPD.

In a statement, Wednesday, the Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) called on government to ensure that the gold mining ventures being undertaken by ZCCM-IH were transparent and that all stakeholders were consulted for Zambians to truly benefit from the newly-discovered resource.

“Government needs to be commended for the bold steps taken so far in securing the areas where gold mining is being undertaken, an example includes Kansenseli District in Mwinilunga. This step has greatly helped in eliminating illegal gold mining activities. Securing these places is an important strategic step that culminates in generating the right plan for the gold mining sector. Government has also taken the right step through ZCCM-IH to undertake exploration activities in Mwinilunga. Government needs to handle the process of gold mining in a consultative and transparent manner,” read the statement.

CTPD executive director Isaac Mwaipopo urged government to engage mining communities as new developments unfolded in their respective areas.

“It will be unfair for the people of Mwinilunga to see companies undertaking diamond drilling without being engaged. Any mining activity requires a social license for it to be executed to fruition,” he observed.

Mwaipopo further noted that the use of primitive mining techniques was an increasingly growing concern in the exploitation process of the gold in the respective areas as they did not adhere to good safety practice, posing a real danger to the miners.

“Additionally, miners lack the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and basic resources to efficiently exploit the mineral resource in an economic and safety manner,” stated Mwaipopo.

The CTPD, in collaboration with the University of Zambia, is undertaking a gold mining study that aims to unveil what should be the right step forward in exploiting the gold resource for Zambians’ maximum benefit.