Small scale mining

There are major challenges ahead for small-scale mining in South Africa. With the advent of the new Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act in 2002, many previously disadvantaged South Africans have begun to see small-scale mining as a way to a new life. The government has, through the former Department of Minerals and Energy now DMR, established the Directorate of Small-Scale Mining to develop and address the challenges faced by the small-scale mining sector.

It is essential that small-scale miners in South Africa become integrated into the greater South African mining community and that the sector becomes streamlined it into the mainstream economy. As a result, the South African government has taken active measures to promote the development of this sector.

The small-scale mining sector includes:

Artisanal or subsistence mining operations (new entrants);

Sub-optimal formal mining operations; and

Entrepreneurs with upfront capital.

The department is working to legalise the small-scale mining operations that currently exist, and find ways to help make them economically viable in a way that is relevant, understandable and affordable to small- scale miners.

The Directorate of Small-Scale Mining assists aspiring small-scale miners in the following ways:

  • Establishment of a legal entity;
  • Guidance towards the identification of mineral deposits;
  • Environmental impact assessment (EIA);
  • Legal and contractual arrangements, mineral rights etcetera;
  • Reserve estimation of the selected deposits;
  • Mining feasibility study;
  • Market study; and
  • Development of the mining equipment.

A Small-Scale Mining Board has been set up as a point of delivery for the services required by the small- scale mining sector. It co-ordinates a substantial amount of expert capacity and experience and specialises in planning and developing a viable mining project through the pre-feasibility stages. The contribution of each board member is essential for professional development of a successful mining project.

Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 

Invitation to Express Interest in Participating in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Funding

Advert: Small Scale Mining Fund 2024

Small Scale Mining Funding Application Form