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More than 5,000 scavengers invade gold mine in Zambia

More than 5,000 scavengers invade gold mine in Zambia
Government considers deployment of army to guard deposits

By James Kunda

LUSAKA, Zambia (AA) - The Ministry of Mines in Zambia revealed a gold rush Friday in which more than 5,000 nationals and foreigners were illegally scavenging deposits in Central Province bordering the capital of Lusaka.

Zambia, Africa's second-largest copper producer, is in the midst of a rush for the newly found gold.

Mines and Minerals Development Minister Paul Kabuswe, who has been on a weeklong tour of the region, bemoaned the situation, blaming it on porous management systems by cartels seeking personal benefit at the nation's expense.

"So the government is in the process of establishing a database which will regulate all processes of mining, including for gold to ensure that the country derives maximum benefit from this endowment," said Kabuswe.

Zambia's recent discoveries of gold have led to an increase in arbitrary mining activities for the resource, a scenario which the country has struggled to reverse despite the establishment of state-owned Zambia Gold Company.

Kabuswe recently suspended operations at one of the country's gold sites, Kasenseli, in the northwest, following a spate of uncoordinated mining activities which led to a loss of human life.

Central Province regional minister Credo Nanjuwa proposed that the government should consider deploying military troops to guard deposits.

He said it would be in replication of measures applied by neighboring countries like Botswana and Zimbabwe.

source: News Feed
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