By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Southern Province Minister, Cornelius Mweetwa, says government will formalize the mining activities at Chilobe Tungsten Mine, in Zimba district.
Mr Mweetwa said though it is the desire of the government to ensure that the citizenry benefit from the mineral resources, mining activities need to be done in compliance with the law.
Mr Mweetwa said that by formalizing the mining activities at Chilobe mine, government will not only empower locals but will also benefit in terms of taxes.
He also expressed concern over reports that two named buyers have monopolized the buying of tungsten in the area.
“I want to caution that the government will tolerate investors or any business person to torment Zambians, miners form cooperatives in order to enhance their bargaining power so that the minerals are sold at acceptable prices,” he said.
And Mine Chairperson, Chriswell Dduku, said that the miners are being tortured and forced to sell their hard earned tungsten at give way prices of between 70 and 7 Kwacha per ton.
Mr Dduku said that those who choose to seek other markets where to sell the minerals, are beaten and handcuffed by guards employed by the two buyers, of foreign origin.
And Mr Mweetwa promised that the government will intervene and that the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises will be engaged to help the miners.