Emeralds Association of Zambia has appealed to Government to engage banks so that they can easy lending conditions to small scale emerald miners for the industry to be viable.
Association president Victor Kalesha says currently from over 500 emerald licences which were issued by Government less than five were operational because the miners have no resources to undertake mining activities.
Mr Kalesha says if Government intervene it will be a relief to many small scale miners who are grappling financially.
In a telephone interview today in Lufwanyama district in Copperbelt Province, he says once the miners have the resources to undertake mining activities the country will start earning much needed revenue.
Mr Kalesha says the emerald sector has potential to contribute to the Government coffers if many licence are active.
Mr Kalesha says most of the miners are not able to access loan facilities from the banks because the conditions are not conducive.
“Our cry to the our able Government is that they should engage the banks so that they can easy their conditions. All what the miners need is being empowered financially then they are good to go with their operations,”he says.
Mr Kalesha also appealed to Government to ensure that small scale miners are empowered with the green mountain owned by the Kegem mining company I the district.
“What we are asking for again from Government is that they should also consider to talk to the owner of green mountain so that small scale miners can able scavenge the emeralds from the mountain.
Government did this with the black mountain and small scale miners have made money by scavenging copper and this can also be done with the green mountain,”.