Zambia has built 10 milling plants to process gold in a drive to formalize artisanal and small-scale miners and diversify from copper mining, state mining investment company ZCCM-IH said. The project is being undertaken by Consolidated Gold Co. Ltd. (CGCZ), a gold processing and trading joint venture between Karma Mining Services and Rural Development and ZCCM-IH. Zambia’s efforts are part of a continent-wide push to tackle informal mining of gold, which is driven by poverty and unemployment, poses health and environmental risks and deprives states of revenue when the metal is smuggled across borders.

Africa’s second-largest copper producer, Zambia aims to produce 40,000 kilograms (kg) of gold in 2020 from primary and secondary sources, including gold bought from artisanal and small-scale miners at government-controlled buying centers. The milling plants have a combined processing capacity of 30 metric tons (mt) of ore per day and a targeted average of 7.5 kg of gold production per month, ZCCM-IH said.