Mining 2021, 1(1), 19-34; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/mining1010003 - 01 Mar 2021
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In the recent years, there has been a surge in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in various districts of Malawi. Reports of a gold rush have emerged in various districts, including Mangochi, Lilongwe, Balaka, and lately in Kasungu. There has been persistence [...] Read more.
In the recent years, there has been a surge in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in various districts of Malawi. Reports of a gold rush have emerged in various districts, including Mangochi, Lilongwe, Balaka, and lately in Kasungu. There has been persistence by many indigenous communities participating in ASGM activities, yet little is being done by the government to formalize and support the sub-sector. The purpose of this study was to investigate the benefits of artisanal small-scale gold mining in Malawi and expose the shortfalls so that key stakeholders and policy makers are well informed. A quantitative approach which used semi-structured questionnaires was used and the data was analyzed using Microsoft excel and Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The study shows that ASGM is characterized by people with low literacy levels, who use traditional tools (low-tech) and use methods fueled by lack of capital, and deficiency of basic knowledge of mining and geology. The study found that the government could achieve substantial socio-economic development from the sector by: (1) revising the current artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) legislation so that it embraces the customary practices whilst safeguarding the environment and improving the tax collection base; (2) providing support in form of mining related training and education to these communities; (3) leading in transfer of modern technologies for improved extraction; (4) supporting ASM cooperatives in securing credit facilities from financial institutions; and (5) closing the existing knowledge gap for ASM related issues through introduction of mining desk officers in district councils. Full article