Illegal gold miners employ new tricks

Rising menace: Illegal gold mining is rife in Francistown, where the precious metal was first discovered in the 1800s
Rising menace: Illegal gold mining is rife in Francistown, where the precious metal was first discovered in the 1800s

FRANCISTOWN: Police in Matsiloje say they have noticed a new trend where illegal gold miners (popularly known as zama zamas) in Matsiloje are now using metal detectors to dig virgin land in search of gold, as opposed to their usual tactic of targeting disused mining areas.

Illegal gold mining has been a source of concern to police in Matsiloje village for some time. Matsiloje is home to several old mines and deposits that ceased operations decades ago. The village is situated along the Zimbabwean border, from where the majority of the illegal gold miners originate.

So severe is the invasion of illegal gold miners in the area that police are arresting up to three per week, while cases constantly feature in the courts.

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