Chali Chilombo, a lawmaker for Nchanga constituency in the town, presented the license to the youths. The move is one of the government's plans to empower young people in the district, he said.
The decision will reduce cases of illegal mining in the district, which has seen many illegal miners dying, Chilombo added. He said all young people that will be working on slag dumps will be trained in safety measures to avoid accidents. "Please let's not fight over this site. Let's work in harmony and ensure all working safety precautions are put in place before operations start," Chilombo said.
Kabaso Mulenga, chairperson of the small-scale miners in the district, commended the government for the commitment to empowering young people. "To the youths let us ensure that the operations and distribution of resources are done in a transparent and equitable manner because no levels of selfishness will be entertained," he said.
Zambia has been grappling with illegal mining activities especially on the Copperbelt province, as youths mine copper on slag dumps and disused pits.