Namibia is one of the countries worldwide rich in a variety of gemstones such as tourmaline, beryl and garnets. Gemstones are pieces of mineral crystal which can be used to make jewelry and other adornments. However Namibia being fortunate enough to bear such treasurer one might begin to question why are we still so poor?, why do we still have unemployment at high rates than ever before?, why do we continue to spend large amount of money importing goods we can produce and manufacture ourselves. While this still remain a question of debate, Namibia has more potential with regard to the natural resources i.e. gemstones we possess in this beautiful motherland. There are a lot factors as to why we still the Namibia we were yesterday, but one factor stands out i.e. lack of knowledge and cultural understanding of our resources.
People are still not well informed and most importantly not educated about how we ourselves can exploit our natural resources and how we can actually make a living out of it. People still do not have perspective on how to go about the utilization of what nature has given to us i.e. through organized, legalized small scale mining as to give an example. In most cases, people might start pointing fingers to the government i.e. as reasons why locals don’t exploit our resources. But actually, both the citizens and the government officials (i.e. the officials responsible for implementing laws and governing of the country) are all to put to blame.
There is a saying that a government is the people that constitute a certain country, which make more sense if you think of it in way that everyone is responsible in playing a role in creating a better country. That is our role as citizens is to acquire knowledge through studying and understanding our resources and thus coming up with innovative ideas to build an economical stable empire. On the other hand the government i.e. in this case referring to those in charge or elected leaders given the responsibility to govern and lead the citizens, should establish an environment where they help and work hand in hand with the individuals that possess good working ideas. That is, they should establish a platform where opportunities are available for those with a desire of creating a better Namibia. As mentioned earlier, exploitation of our minerals i.e. gemstones can be done through organized enterprises know as small scale mining. It is a branch in the mining industry where individuals called small scale miners (ASM) do not necessary have to be employed by a mining company but can rather work independently in the exploitation of the resources. These individuals can also employ workers i.e. given that the enterprise is economical viable. This study thus focuses on the emphasis of the prospection, mining and processing rights one should know before the exploitation and processing of minerals, example the different types of gemstones we possess in Namibia. The laws and regulations on small scale mining are critically analyzed i.e. from their strength till their weakness and suggestions are made regarding what changes should be made to the existing policy framework to benefit and help the small mining sector.
The mining industry till today still remains the major contributor to the GDP of Namibia. Namibia is a natural based economy and if well exploited this might as well be the bread basket of the economy the country might need to rely on. Given so much potential our motherland possess, however, citizen still remain unaware on how to break out of poverty situations and other financial bondages. According to M. Hoadley and D. Limpitlaw, Artisal and small scale mining (ASM) provides jobs for over 100 million miners across the globe, that is to say in other words it possess so much potential as in improving living conditions of the miners, and also creating employment for the individuals in the country.
According to the Ministry of Mine and Energy (MME) (2016) about 1000 to 10000 which is 80 % of the small scale miners are mining illegally. And this is due to several factors such as the unawareness of how to go about legalizing a license to mine legally, and also because due to harsh legal acts and high taxes imposed onto the legalized miners that discourages them from coming up front and legalizing their license. Lack of funds (human capital), and lack of technological equipment to some extent also play a role as to why we still have a few legalized ASM. Thus most informal ASM fall for the low quick money they can make on the street market i.e. to tourists they meet at selling points and traditional south African buyers.
Gemstones as defined earlier are mineral crystals of beauty that when cut and polished can be sold or used in jewelry for sales purposes. Apart from their use (i.e. mineral stones) in jewelry one may begin to wonder as to why else people spends large sums of money to be in possession of them. It is not only in the past, but also today, these mineral crystals i.e. gemstones are still perceived to symbolize and hold certain medical and magical powers that is, according to Annibale Mottana (2017). Also because they are rare in nature and since rare things are believed to be precious thus being the reason why their also called precious stones.
Tourmaline for example is believed to provide insight about trouble situations and help in suggesting means of solving the problem. Also in some cultures it is believed to give protection against dark and evil magic. Topaz is a stone (i.e. based on beliefs) that give protection against death and certain diseases. Also it strengthen intellect and reduce sadness. On the other hand Garnet was one stone believed to be given to king Solomon by God. Thus it is perceived to symbolize safety and luck hence it is why it is given before enduring a long journey.