• Majority of the artisanal miners are poor and undertake mining activities in their remotely located communities.
• Government must decentralize issuance of mineral rights to encourage formalization of artisanal miners.
• The 2023 National Budget allocated K50 million towards the artisanal and small-scale mining subsector.
Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) has urged government to increase funding towards the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) subsector from K50 million allocated in 2023 national budget to slightly above K200 million.
Centre Acting Executive Director Sydney Mwamba told Money FM News that the K50 million allocation is seemingly low because the country has about 500,000 people engaged in artisanal and small-scale mining directly or indirectly, and face numerous challenges such as lack of equipment, inadequate finances, and lack of technical skills.
Mr. Mwamba further advised government to decentralize the issuance of mineral rights to encourage formalization of artisanal miners who undertake mining activities in their remotely located communities in order for the 2022-2027 National Mineral Resources Development Policy to be a success.
“PMRC understands that majority of the artisanal miners are poor and undertake mining activities in their remotely located communities. Thus, urging the Government to decentralize the issuance of mineral rights to encourage formalization.”
“The 2023 National Budget allocated K50 million towards the artisanal and small-scale mining subsector. However, the country has approximately 500,000 people engaged directly or indirectly in ASM. With the many challenges that impede the subsector growth lack of equipment, inadequate finances, lack of technical skills), the allocation is seemingly low to advance its quest. Therefore, the Government is urged to increase funding to slightly above K200 million to realize not just Mineral Resource Development Policy (MRDP 2022) tenets but also the subsector potential,” Mr. Mwamba said.
He further urged government to establish a national strategic plan for exploitation and exploration of mineral resources, which should incorporate the percentage needed to be mapped, project costs and stipulate incentives for local and foreign investors.
“Aside from employing the Public Private Partnerships (PPEs) model in exploration activities, the Government is urged to utilize other funding avenues from developmental partners such as the European Union (EU),” he advised.
Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development launched the 2022 National Mineral Resource Development Policy on 11th November 2022 and its implementation plan for the period 2022-2027.
The policy sets out the Government’s vision and mission to accelerate and maximize the benefits from the exploration of the known and potential mineral resources available in Zambia.