The Mozambican government will compensate people who denounce gemstone smuggling, with a view to ending that illegal trade, the Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy recently stated.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of his ministry’s Coordinating Council, Max Tonela said that denouncers could receive monetary compensation or keep some of the product seized by authorities.
Both the value and the mechanisms for compensating denouncers are being analysed, he said, as reported by the Maputo-based daily Notícias.
Tonela recalled that inspection services were now more autonomous and that depots had been set up for the legal sale of precious gems, which “will stimulate artisanal miners to join the formal mineral trading circuit.”
He explained that the losses suffered by the Treasury due to illegal gem trading are high, but did not provide overall figures.
For example, the provincial government of Nampula in northern Mozambique estimates that there are nearly 6,000 illegal artisanal mining operations in the area where gemstones are found.
Concern over the matter was manifested by the provincial governor, Victor Borges, during the opening of the 4th Stones and Gems Fair in the city of Nampula, capital of the province of the same name.