The Centre for Trade Policy and Development has urged government to formalize the Artisanal and Small-Scale mining because it has the potential to reduce poverty levels in the Country.
The Centre has noted with concern that the sector has remained under-developed despite being an important source of employment for many youths.
CTPD Senior Researcher Extractives Webby Banda attributed this state of affairs to lack of finances which he said makes it difficult for the small -scale miners to access capital.
Mr. Banda also noted that due to the financial challenges, the sector lacks modern equipment and technology to efficiently exploit mineral resources.
‘’For example, the use of inadequate mining and mineral processing techniques in this form of mining leads to low productivity and recoveries of mineral values translating into low cash inflow. This means earnings are not retained to foster growth thereby holding the miner captive to a vicious poverty cycle. Other challenges faced by the ASM in Zambia include the lack of geological information, technical and management skills’’, Mr. Banda added.
He also observed that Mining laws in Zambia are heavily inclined to large scale commercial mines which are mostly dominated by multinational corporations to the neglect of ASM thereby inhibiting the growth of the sector.
Mr. Banda added that Bureaucratic and centralized licensing of mining rights has also prevented the participation of many people in small scale mining activities.
Mr. Banda also suggested that government should increases incentives in the Artisanal and Small-scale mining sector to foster growth.
He added in a statement issued by Communications Specialist Mwaka Nyimbili that there is need to make geological information readily available to small scale miners and render technological support in order to enhance their meaningful participation.