Zambian small-scale miners plead for right to access waste dumpsPublished by MAC on 2017-09-20
Source: Zambia mining magazine (2017-09-20)
Small-scale mineworkers have been attempting to extract copper from KCM/Vedanta's waste dumps in Zambia.
One of the associations of these so-called "Jerabos" claims that some miners have died in mine accidents; others have either been arrested and convicted of criminal trespass; maimed or shot dead "usually in unreported circumstances".
They are pleading with the government to recognise their plight and end their current "illegal" status.
Illegal miners push KCM to free copper waste dumps
Zambia mining magazine
16 September 2017
Illegal small-scale miners operating within Konkola Copper Mines’ area
have appealed to government to compel the miner to let go copper waste
dumps to avert illegal mining activities.
Commonly known as Jerabos, the illicit miners want government to force
KCM to discharge overburdened dumps.
Martin Kalunga, Chairman of the Big Tree Society, one of the
associations of illegal miners bemoaned that a number of miners had died
in mine accidents while others had either been arrested and convicted of
criminal trespass, maimed or shot dead usually in unreported circumstances.
Kalunga said it was sad that KCM was still dragging its feet despite
having formed cooperatives on the advice of the government through
the minister of Mines, Christopher Yaluma.
“KCM is not interested in addressing our plight which could help end
illegal mining activities. Both the government and KCM ought to realise
that we are forced to take up such risky activities due to high
unemployment rates and poverty,” Kalunga said.
Big Tree Society seeks to safeguard the interests of illegal miners and
mediate between the small-scale miners and firms.