According to a report published by the International Labor Office, “small-scale mining is expanding rapidly and often uncontrollably in many developing countries, employing large numbers of women and children in dangerous conditions and generating a workplace fatality rate up to 90 times higher than mines in industrialized countries”.
The report further states that “as much as 80 percent of small-scale mining falls outside any legal or regulatory framework”. This is why ZCCM IH’s Gold and Manganese ambitions need to be applauded as they are bringing structure to an industry in Zambia that has the potential to rewrite the mining history of a country.
Recently, “works at the manganese mine in Serenje have commenced following the end of the heavy rains that had hampered kick-starting operations, posing a challenge in accessing the mine site areas”. The works being undertaken are part of ZCCM-IH, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Kabundi Resources Limited (KRL), works that have started on Phase one of the project in the small-scale mining license, with an initial capital injection of K18.6 million. This comes a few days after they had announced an injection of approximately K45 million for the initial phase of the Kasenseli Gold Mine Project in Mwinilunga.
In both instances, ZCCM IH is craving out and executing their ambitions by the book as can be seen by their Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) which was approved by the Zambia Environmental Management Services (ZEMA) and involves the construction of an additional one-by-two classroom block, a health center, nine-by-three bedroomed houses for the relocation of the Project Affected Families, one house for a teacher, and another house for a medical staff.
Responsible project implementations are one of the hallmarks that financiers of various projects that have environmental impact often seek out when investment companies such as ZCCM IH seek out capital. This ensures that during the life of the project and hereafter, minimal litigation cases can be envisaged as due process has been followed.
This is also the reason why it is important to protect such assets as the mining sector is prone to illicit mining. Most recently ZCCM IH advertised a tender for security services to help address security concerns at its mining outfits that are in the development stage.