Zambia has built 10 plants to process gold in a notion to formalize artisanal and small-scale miners and diversify from copper mining.
These efforts are part of an Africa-wide push to tackle informal mining, which is driven by poverty and unemployment and deprives states of revenue when the metal is smuggled across borders.
Continent’s 2nd-largest producer of copper, Zambia’s goal is to produce 40 tons of gold in 2020 from primary and secondary sources including gold bought from artisanal and small-scale miners at state buying centers.
“The plant is aimed at chemically processing the gold stock piles from two old gold mines, and concentrates from the gold milling plants,” the ZCCM-IH statement said.
ZCCM-IH is now buying gold for at least 600 kwacha ($33) per gram, with prices increasing according to purity – a competitive option compared to prices of around 500 kwacha in the free market, a spokesperson said.