The SAIMM is a professional institute with local and international links aimed at assisting members source information about technological developments in the mining, metallurgical and related sectors.
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SAIMM Johannesburg Branch Event – Annual Student Debate

Date 24 August 2017
Location WorleyParsons, 39 Melrose Blvd, Melrose Arch, Johannesburg
Location Worley, Melrose Arch, Johannesburg



SAIMM Johannesburg Branch: The 2017 Student’s Debate

Topic: The Future of Artisanal and Small Scale Mining in the South African Mining Industry 

Mention zama-zamas and these are some of the immediate questions that get raised.

  • When do zama-zamas become small scale miners?
  • How should this sector of the South African Mining industry be regulated by government?
  • How should the relationship between the established mining industry and the informal sector be managed?
  • What can we learn about the small scale mining industry in the rest of Africa and further afield?

The simple fact is that small scale/artisanal/informal mining is here to stay. A recent article in the Business Day (22nd May 2017/ Graeme Hoskins) highlighted the following:

  • Over 6,000 disused gold, diamond, chrome and platinum mines in South Africa.
  • Stolen gold production in South Africa currently estimated at R7 Billion Rand per annum.
  • Zama-zama workforce population estimated at over 30,000.
  • Total number of deaths from rival clashes and safety breaches are unknown.
  • Both the Chamber of Mines and government recognise illicit mining as a national threat.

Three different Student teams have been chosen to examine the informal mining sector from three different perspectives, namely

  • Team Government - the regulators and legislators.
  • Team mining industry and its representatives – The establishment, ‘big brothers’ and one of many interested and affected parties.
  • Team zama-zamas, small scale miners, informal mining sector – the ‘new kids on the block’.

Join us for an evening of lively, controversial and thought provoking debate as students from our local universities interrogate and dissect the issues surrounding the informal mining sector.