Artisanal and Small-scale Mining

 

Small and isolated deposits of minerals are scattered all over SADC countries. These often lend themselves to economic exploitation through small-scale mining. With modest demand on capital expenditure and a short lead-time, they also provide employment opportunities for the local population. In certain countries, artisanal miners are exploited by companies who buy their produce cheaply. Artisanal mining in its current form in most SADC countries is poorly regulated and often not taxed.

January 13th, 2014

 

Small and isolated deposits of minerals are scattered all over SADC countries. These often lend themselves to economic exploitation through small-scale mining. With modest demand on capital expenditure and a short lead-time, they also provide employment opportunities for the local population. In certain countries, artisanal miners are exploited by companies who buy their produce cheaply. Artisanal mining in its current form in most SADC countries is poorly regulated and often not taxed.

Recommended Principles and Guidelines for Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

i.       Promote small-scale mining of small deposits in a sustainable manner while safeguarding social, environmental, safety and health concerns.

ii       There should be strict conditions on this sector, including:

1.      Creating an appropriate regulatory policy framework to promote small-scale mining;

2.      Decentralising the issuing of mining rights and taxation;

3.      Introducing preferential rights, which give local companies preference in the granting of licences, but which also give them strong negotiating powers to enter into third-party agreements. The third party shall be equally bound by the conditions governing the licence, which supersedes the third party’s country agreements or laws;

4.      Passing strong legislation on the safety of vulnerable populations, especially women and children; and,

5.      Formalising artisanal mining and legislating for the creation of small enterprises, such as cooperatives or companies, which can be properly managed.

iii.            Governments must create mechanisms to enforce good environmental practices in artisanal mining so that the sector contributes to the formal economy and reduces its negative environmental impact.

 

Contacts

  • 1 Hood Avenue/148 Jan Smuts; Rosebank, GP 2196; South Africa
  • T. +27 (0)11 587 5000
  • F. +27 (0)11 587 5099