By NATION REPORTER
MINISTER of Green Economy and Environment Collins Nzovu has said Government is ready to work with the youths on the Serenje Manganese Dump Site.
Speaking after he toured the Serenje Manganese Dump Site, Mr Nzovu encouraged the youths to form cooperatives and formalise the operations by getting the relevant licenses from Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), Ministry of Mines and the Forestry Department.
He said doing so would ensure safety for the miners, the environment and the surrounding communities.
Mr Nzovu said the Serenje Manganese dump site (Black Mountain) is situated near the Luombwa River which is used by the community in Kabundi for various purposes and this may cause health hazards for the people that consume water from the said river.
He said Government priotises the safety of workers and would not want a repeat of what happened at the Black Mountain on the Copperbelt.
“The youths have descended on the Manganese dump site and I am told and I have seen that it is high grade Manganese. They are getting them into these small heaps valued at K60. Buyers are from Pensulo area where there are a lot of Manganese Processing Plants,” he said. “This was a major concern to us and that is why we decided to do this operation to find out if they have formed cooperatives and have other relevant documentation from ZEMA, Ministry of Mines and the Forestry Department,” he said.
He said illegal mining without the necessary safe guards can be very dangerous.
Mr Nzovu urged the local authorities in the district to closely monitor what was happening at the dump site and work together with the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment to protect the environment, human health in addition to the Government earning revenue from the said operations.
He said it would be difficult to get any gains from the dump site if the activities cannot be followed and monitored.
Hon. Nzovu urged people to follow the laid down procedures when they want to invest in the country.