Mines minister Minister Christopher Yaluma has struck a deal with Copper thieves known as Jerabos to share the profits from the slug dump commonly referred to as ‘Black Mountain’ in Kitwe’s Wusakile Township.
In March this year, Yaluma suspended what he called ‘illegal mining activities’ on the copper slag dump and directed police to guard the area and ensure that all the ‘illegal miners’ vacate the place until government formalises the process of legally handing over the slag dump.
Later, Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) officers and State police raided the slug dump to establish how much tax government was losing due to illegal mining there.
The ownership of the ‘mine’ has always being in dispute but ‘Jerabos’ have always been mining there.
ZRA corporate communications manager, Mumbuna Kufekisa said records at the Mines and Safety Department show that the slug dump belonged to Nkana Alloy Smelting Company. He said the owners of the ‘black mountain’ should start paying mineral royalty tax to the Government as required of all mining industries.
Some people have maintained that the dump belongs simply to the ‘community’.
But on Monday October 13, 2014, Mines Minister Yaluma met Stard Mwale, the PF Provincial youth chairman for Copperbelt and some notorious copper thief of Wusakile Township. In the meeting, it was agreed that Yaluma would announce that the ‘black mountain’ will be handed over to ‘youths or community’.
According to informed sources, a deal was concluded in the meeting under the following terms: Minister Yaluma and his deputy Richard Musukwa will be getting 15 per cent each from all sales. Stard Mwale will be receiving 20 per cent.
It will be interesting to see which youths or community Yaluma hands gives the ‘black mountain.’