Some gemstones miners in the Copperbelt province have lost huge sums of money due to the alleged wrong geological survey data they got over the mining areas which government allocated to them.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Ndola today, Emerald and Semi-precious stones Miners Association of Zambia (ESMAS) general secretary, Victor Kalesha said the miners had invested heavily on mining areas that had little quantities of gemstones.
This was contrary to the data they were given which suggested that the areas had huge deposits of gemstones laying near the ground surface.
Mr. Kalesha explained that the miners did not realize any significant profits because the availability of the stones in those areas did not tarry with the geological survey data they were given concerning the areas.
He said that currently, only a few of the local gemstone miners were mining, noting that most of the have given up the business due to non availability of the precious stones in their mining areas.
He added that other miners do not have the necessary mining equipment to exhume the gemstones, which lies deep in the ground.
Mr. Kalesha noted that in the Copperbelt province, there were 500 gemstone mining license holders but only two miners were actively operational. The two operational mines are owned by foreigners.
The ESMAZ general secretary named the two operating companies as Grizzly and Kagem Mining Companies.
He has since appealed to government to conduct another geological survey on these mining areas so that local gemstone miners can be productive and contribute to the economic growth of the country.
Mr. Kalesha also said the recently opened Gemstone Exchange Centre in Ndola has not helped the gemstone miners because they have no stones to supply to the centre.
He attributed the failure by the miners to supply stones at the centre to the wrong geological survey data they were given regarding their mining areas at the time they acquired them.