Formalizing Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Mozambique: Concerns, Priorities and Challenges

Gavin Hilson, Salvador Mondale, Abigail Hilson, Alex Arnall, Tim Laing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reflects critically on efforts made to formalize artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) – low-tech, labour-intensive mineral extraction and processing – in Mozambique. Drawing on findings from interviews with policymakers, representatives from ASM associations and consultations with 200 individual miners, the paper captures the details of the country’s ASM formalization experience. Findings reveal that despite showing considerable promise at first, the drive to formalize ASM in Mozambique, which spans three decades, has lost considerable momentum. A bureaucratic licensing scheme, overlapping responsibilities at the Estatuto Orgânico do Ministério dos Recursos Minerais e Energia (MIREME), and a shortage of information about miners have contributed to this slowdown. The themes underpinning the efforts to formalize ASM in Mozambique are not new but the case itself has its own unique nuances and storylines.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResources Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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