Association president Victor Kalesha has called on government to increase security in the mining and trading of gemstones.
Kalesha said government is losing huge sums of money due to the illegal mining and trading of precious minerals especially in Lufwanyama District on the Copperbelt Province.
He said government has a role to protect and discourage any form of illegality in the mining and trading of gemstones if it is to collection sufficient taxes from the sector.
“You see at the moment, industry players need to come up with strategies and proposals that will enable to win government confidence so that we are empowered. Let us discourage the illegal marking of gemstones,” Kalesha stated.
He said there was need for stakeholders in the gemstone industry to promote legal extraction, value addition and authorised auctioning of gemstones.
Kalesha is, however, worried that the voice of small-scale miners in the precious minerals industry has weakened because they are not noticed as major stakeholders.
“We can only move government to act upon our challenges if we ourselves become serious and work towards goals that will promote small scale mining in Zambia,” added Kalesha.