MINISTER of Mines Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma says two gold refineries are expected to be set up next year, a move that will enable Zambia export processed gold.
The minister said one of the gold refineries was expected to be established in Lusaka while the second may be in Eastern Province.
Mr Yaluma said talks with investors interested in the gold refineries had since reached an advanced stage.
He said the Government was working hard towards ensuring that the country reached a stage where there was value-addition to all export products.
“Some countries in the region have gold refineries and one example is South Africa, so we are also working towards ensuring that there is value-addition to our products being exported,” Mr Yaluma said.
“And once the gold refineries are established, miners will be in a position to sell or have their gold processed.”
On illegal gold mining, Mr Yaluma revealed that the Government had rounded up a number of people in Luano Valley and Vubwi in Central and Eastern provinces, respectively.
Mr Yaluma has since warned those still involved in the illegal gold mining to do so at their own risk.
“There are different groupings of people involved in illegal mining from different parts of the country. But we have continued with the arrests and handing over the culprits to the relevant authorities for prosecution,” Mr Yaluma said.
He said the Government was losing colossal sums of money through illegal gold mining.
“Through illegal mining, the Government is losing out on revenue because those involved smuggle the gold out of the country and do not pay tax,” he said.
The minister said his ministry was currently sensitising the public on the need to obtain mining licences.
Times of Zambia