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The contribution of artisanal and small-scale gold mining to Zimbabwe’s economic growth and development

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In 2016, Zimbabwe’s gold mining sector as a whole, consisting of both artisanal and small-scale mining (ASGM) and large-scale gold mining (LSGM), contributed 2.6% of gross domestic product (GDP), 18% of exports, 28% of mining output, and 1% of government revenues (royalties only) and employed 7.1% of the labor force. ASGM is perceived to contribute significantly to these figures and, therefore, to the growth and development of Zimbabwe’s economy. However, there is limited evidence of the scale of the contribution and how it has evolved over time. This study seeks to fill this knowledge gap. This study used both quantitative and qualitative research methods to analyze ASGM’s contribution at both macro- and micro-economic levels. Results show that, currently, ASGM’s macro-economic contribution is comparable to that of the more-established and better-financed LSGM sector.

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