Modern Mining December 2022

to the mining industry. However, the industry remains hamstrung by a poor policy framework that hampers artisanal miners from fully participating in the sector. “A proper policy framework will encourage more artisanal miners to join the ranks of small scale and emerging miners and inspire them to become key economic contributors as taxpayers with legal out lets for the sale of their products. Currently, many artisanal miners use parallel markets (illegal chan nels) to sell their products.” As such, the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Framework, released in April this year by the DMRE, which aims to ratify key related challenges, is in the spotlight. “Given that the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Framework has far-reaching consequences, par ticularly as it relates to illegal mining, the JEMD is engaging with legal experts to unpack the policy framework and its relationship to illegal mining with debates underway on how best to tackle issues such as the rise in criminality, while simultaneously protecting small-scale miners (formal miners) from being invaded by illegal miners. The aim of the policy framework is to regulate the system, discourage ille gal mining and ensure that criminals are worked out of the system.”

In addition, the JEMD and its team of experts are evaluating the legalities related to mining majors making land available for artisanal miners to mine, on what has traditionally been their mining right. “Whilst this is a model that has been used suc cessfully in other mining jurisdictions, particularly in Africa, the legalities around this are complex. Inter alia: if a small-scale miner is mining on land over which a major is the existing right holder, the ques tion of rehabilitation liability comes to the fore. These are the kind of legalities we are addressing with the legal consultant,” explains Mitchell. Another thorny challenge is the issue of mine clo sure. The Jagersfontein disaster is a case in point of entities not adequately equipped to handle environ mental aspects associated with mine closure. In this regard the DMRE appointed Prof Mike Solomon from the University of Cape Town to research mine closure with key stakeholders. One session was run for the Minerals Council’s junior members and these findings will form part of the recommendations in the final report. In its bid to advance capacity building, the JEMD has established a mentorship platform for its mem bers whereby they partner with senior members of big mining companies.

South Africa was ranked among the world’s ten least attractive mining destinations for investment.

Left: The JSE is encouraging juniors to list on the local bourse.

Below: The JEMD is working to establish fit-for-purpose regulations for the junior and emerging mining sector.

December 2022  MODERN MINING  23

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