Ethiopia has announced that artisanal and small-scale gold miners all over the country are now exempt from royalty payments. The move aims to encourage traditional miners to stay in business, and boot production.
Takele Uma, Ethiopia’s Minister of Mines and Petroleum, expressed thanks to all regional presidents for taking “a huge step in support of our artisanal and small scale miners by waiving all royalty payments.”
The minister also pointed out the move serves to show for their leadership and assistance for the thousands of artisanal miners throughout Ethiopia.The mineral sector remains underdeveloped in Ethiopia. The sector had an 18% contribution (US $681 million) out of the US $3.62 billion earned in the Ethiopian fiscal year concluded in July.
The artisanal and smallscale mining sub-sector in particular has many challenges. As most of the artisanal miners do not have a formal license, they are not beneficiaries of legal protection and other support packages provided by the government and are also unlikely to comply with fiscal, mining and environmental regulations. The performance and growth of ASM is affected by a number of factors including limited market access and linkages, lack of access to finance, poor infrastructure, and other constraints related to policy and regulatory settings.
Cognizant of the potential role of artisanal mining in Ethiopia’s economy, the government has given special attention to the development of this subsector. However, this task requires the cooperation of other stakeholders as mining activities raise a number of issues related to gender, environment, health and other aspects of governance