Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Atupele Muluzi has called on for the transformation of the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining sud-sector from an informal to a formal footing.
He was speaking in Lilongwe during the official opening of the ASM symposium at Golden Peacock Hotel.
“All operators in this sector should be licensed and mining activities should be regularly monitored and inspected. We should endeavour to organise a formal market for the ASM, especially for gemstones and add value through polishing and cutting here in Malawi to realize optimal benefits,” he said.
Furthermore, Muluzi said ASM operations should be conducted in accordance with applicable safety and security requirements and should safeguard the well being of the environment.
“We should also endeavour to curb illegal ASM operations and smuggling of our precious stones, which robs us of revenue and jobs for our people while at the same time maintaining highest standards of transparency and accountability and those failing to comply should have their licences revoked,” said Muluzi.
Currently, the mining sector in Malawi contributes 10 percent to GDP.
The symposium was head with support from FDH Bank in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining.
World Bank and the European Union had also their support towards convening of the same through the Malawi Governance and Growth Support Project (MGGSP).