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Artisanal mining in central Mozambique: Policy and environmental issues of concern

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  • Dondeyne, S.
  • Ndunguru, E.
  • Rafael, P.
  • Bannerman, J.
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    Abstract

    This paper analyses current policy and legislation in relation to the praxis of artisanal gold mining in Mozambique. Approximately 20,000 people are involved in artisanal mining in central Mozambique, producing annually 480-600kg of gold, 85-90% of which remains in the informal economy. The current legislation, however, is inadequate: artisanal mining is supposed to take place in predetermined "designated areas", none of which are gold-rich, and, artisanal miners are supposed to get an individual mining pass from provincial authorities, which rarely occurs. Artisanal miners' associations get support from the Mining Development Fund. Yet, as these organisations are only viable where ore permits long lasting exploitation, their members represent less than 30% of the workforce. Hence the scope for improving miners' working conditions and limiting their environmental impact through this type of organisation is limited. On the other hand, siltation of rivers and their pollution with heavy metals goes unchecked while the prohibition of artisanal mining, in and around conservation areas has proven counterproductive. The design of more appropriate policies, particularly those pertaining to the environment, hinges upon a better understanding of the socio-economic dynamics of the sector.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Resources Policy.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1-2 ()
    Pages: 45-50

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:34:y:2009:i:1-2:p:45-50

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30467

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    Keywords: Mining legislation Socio-economic dynamics Environmental impact Nature conservation Decentralisation policy;

    References

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    1. Amankwah, R.K. & Anim-Sackey, C., 2003. "Strategies for sustainable development of the small-scale gold and diamond mining industry of Ghana," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(3-4), pages 131-138.
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    Cited by:
    1. Biswas, Amit K. & Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza & Thum, Marcel, 2012. "Pollution, shadow economy and corruption: Theory and evidence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 114-125.
    2. Perks, Rachel, 2012. "How can public–private partnerships contribute to security and human rights policy and practice in the extractive industries? A case study of The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 251-260.
    3. Saldarriaga-Isaza, Adrián & Villegas-Palacio, Clara & Arango, Santiago, 2013. "The public good dilemma of a non-renewable common resource: A look at the facts of artisanal gold mining," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 224-232.
    4. Hilson, Gavin & Ackah-Baidoo, Abigail, 2011. "Can Microcredit Services Alleviate Hardship in African Small-scale Mining Communities?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1191-1203, July.
    5. Spiegel, Samuel J., 2009. "Socioeconomic dimensions of mercury pollution abatement: Engaging artisanal mining communities in Sub-Saharan Africa," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 3072-3083, October.

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