Black mountain handed back to jerabos

 Black mountain handed back to jerabos

Government has handed back the black mountain to the small scale miners in Kitwe.

Mines and Minerals Development Minister Richard Musukwa was speaking at a press briefing this afternoon held at Mines Safety Department in Kitwe.

Mr Musukwa said the black mountain would be given back to the miners provided they follow all stipulated conditions set by government.

Mr Musukwa said the ministry conducted investigations to ascertain the causes of the accident and recommend remedial measures to be taken by the license holder Chapamo mineral processing Ltd.

He said from the investigations and analysis of the accident it was discovered that some causes of the accident were that, there was disorganizing within Chapamo mineral processing Ltd such as failure to effectively supervise, direct and control operations at the black mountain.

He said Chapamo allowed youths to access the area and pick valuable minerals to avoid conflict with the community.

Other causes were luck of competent supervisors and lack of documented safe operating procedures, such as employee registers to account for persons on site.

He said that there was disintegrated operations as separate entities and individuals contrary to the their own memorandum of understanding (MOU).

Mr Musukwa said the ministry has directed Chapamo to reorganize their structure and ensure condinated operations to avoid a recurrence of the accident.

“Chapamo mineral processing Ltd should conduct and obtain approval for an environmental impact assessment consistent with the type of operations authorised by the license.

“The owners of the license should conduct a geotechnical assessment of the slag dump using competent personal to ascertain the stability of the black mountain adding that there also need to develop a mine plan,” he said.

Mr Musukwa noted that there was need to erect a fence around the black mountain and engage security personnel to police the area.

Meanwhile the Mines minister asked stakeholders to devise a system that will ensure that the community benefits from the asset without anyone directly taking part in mining activities.

He however said that government will not sit idle but will monitor all operations to avoid accidents and damage to the environment.

And Chapamo mineral processing Ltd Director Kelvin Tembo thanked President Lungu for gesture and has assured government that the association will follow all the lead down conditions.

Mr Tembo said the conditions may seem harsh but they will follow all the stipulated conditions set.

He said that residents of Kitwe should not fear the black mountain like it a war zone when it is not.

Speaking earlier area Wusakile Member of Parliament Pavyuma Kalobo asked the beneficiaries to invest their money in other business as the black mountain was a diminishing resource.

There was jubilation when the minister met some of the scale miners who assembled chanting the patriotic Front slogans.

Mines minister was accompanied by Copperbelt Minister Japhen Mwakalombe, Mines Permanent Secretary and PF Provincial Chairman Stephen Kainga.

The Independent Observer

John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism

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