Today's Labour News

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newsMining Weekly reports that mining analyst David van Wyk points out that, as industrial mining for gold declines, artisanal mining for gold in abandoned, ownerless and derelict mines will increase, making way for artisanal miners to mine abandoned shafts.  

Addressing delegates at a mining seminar at Sustainability Week 2018 in Pretoria, he pointed out that there were currently 30,000 illegal artisanal miners in Gauteng alone.  Noting that although they were are considered illegal miners, they did in fact contribute to the economy and that shutting down artisanal mining would result in 280,000 people being left without any means of survival because there was a dependency ratio of 1:8.  “It is imperative to consider the impact of this on violent crime in the country, as well as the economic impact of taking their earnings out of the business cycle,” Van Wyk pointed out.  He further noted that the environmental impact of artisanal miners was minimal, stressing that they used little water and produced negligent waste.  “With proper training and management their operations can be made much safer and [the use of] mercury can be phased out.”  Van Wyk stressed the importance of distinguishing between “ghost mining” in operational industrial mines and micro and survival mining on abandoned, derelict and ownerless mines.  “It is possible, given the will and commitment of government, to formalise and legitimise artisanal, survivalist mining,” he argued.

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