Maputo, 9 Mar (AIM) – Over 2,160 artisanal mining sites have been identified in Mozambique as part of the Artisanal Mining Census.
The results have been published by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, in coordination with the National Statistics Institute (INE).
According to Thursday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Notícias”, the data show that, of the total sites, 1,577 are active with 31 per cent dedicated to gold mining.
In 2021. artisanal mining involved 806,957 people, corresponding to 2.6 per cent of the country’s population. Three-quarters of the miners have this activity as their main source of income. Most of them are men (88.3 per cent), and of these 68 per cent are 15-34 year olds.
The results also showed that 53 per cent of the artisanal miners are self-employed. More than 50 per cent are involved in gold mining and about 30 per cent in mining construction materials (stone, sand and clay).
The Artisanal Mining Census was launched in August 2021 and results from the Government’s recognition of the role of this segment of mining activity (even though much of is is illegal and highly dangerous). The main minerals historically extracted are gold, precious and semi-precious stones, and, more recently, construction stone, limestone, sand, clay, tantalite and coal.
In conducting the census the Government’s main objectives were to provide indicators on artisanal mining for planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating policies for the development of the sector.
The census covered all artisanal mining foci, mine owners, associated miners, wage earners, as well as mining traders and mining service providers on a sample basis.
Data collection was carried out from August to November 2021 in the southern, central and northern regions of the country, followed by data validation and analysis from December 2021 to June 2022.
The data gathered by the census will allow the various sectors of the Government to improve their technical assistance to the artisanal mining sub-sector. This should lead to increased formalization of the activity, and the adoption of environmentally responsible and safe techniques.
The Mozambican Artisanal Mining Census is the first in the country and in the southern region of Africa.