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Artisanal & Small Scale Mining

Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) is an important livelihood activity for millions of people in the developing world representing as many as 90% of the global mining workforce, however, environmental, social, business and labour challenges have hindered the potential of ASM to contribute to sustainable development.

The artisanal and small scale mining sector are facing many challenges. A recent census of development minerals in Zambia, conducted by the ministry of mines and ACP_EU development minerals programme, revealed that of the 109 mining plots visited in 10 provinces of the country, approximately 75% held legal licenses.

A vast majority of the ASM were unaware that their activities required a licence. According to the Planning department within the MMMD the main challenges of the ASM sector in Zambia are:

  • Limited access to financial resources. The majority of ASM workers cannot afford to buy the required equipment;
  • ASM is conducted in the unsafe and uncoordinated way;
  • Only a few ASM pay taxes since most are illiterate and do not maintain proper records;
  • There is none compliance on reporting production returns and annual licence fee renewal; and
  • The sector lacks appropriate management and technical skills.