Zambian police arrested 30 Chinese nationals for allegedly carrying out illegal mining activities, the nation's home minister said on Sunday.
Speaking to reporters, Home Affairs Minister Steven Kapyongo said the police conducted an operation in the mining area on the Copperbelt on Saturday night.
Kapyongo also accused the Chinese nationals of employing underage youths to steal copper and other precious minerals.
The child miners were said to be aged between 10 and 16 years old.
The minister said the arrestees would be deported over "violating the provisions of the law regarding mining and labor activities" in Zambia.
He said the government will not tolerate foreign nationals using investment permit to commit crimes, warning to revoke permits of such people and deport them.
"In future, the government will also not hesitate to round up people used by foreigners to do illegal mining activities," said the minister.