Green Economy and Environment Minister, COLLINS NZOVU says government will ensure that local people benefit from Sugilite mining in Luapula Province.

Mr NZOVU says government institutions need to strengthen collaboration to ensure the rightful owners are given permission to mine sugilite.

Speaking during the visit to Muombe Mine which was recently closed due to illegal mining activities, Mr NZOVU said proper mining methods should be used so that the environment is protected.

He said the Government wants to ensure that a Strategic Environmental Assessment is undertaken to determine the best way of exploiting the resource in a sustainable manner without degrading the environment.

He further stated that the Ministry of Mines is also developing regulations to guide the mining of Sugilite.

An, Zambia Environmental Management Agency- ZEMA- Northern Regional Manager CHRISPIN SIMWANZA said Bayan Construction Limited has approval for exploration of Manganese and not for carrying out mining and mineral processing activities.

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