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.