Call for Consultancy


Terms of Reference (TOR): Assessment of Tributary Agreements in the ASM Sector in Zimbabwe.  

Deadline: 28 February 2021

  1. Introduction and Background

The artisanal and small-scale mining sector (ASM) is an indispensable source of livelihood for mineral rich communities in the country. However, most miners in these communities operate in informal mining arrangements characterised by rudimentary methods, and lack of mining technical knowledge. This knowledge includes managing mining as a business and getting into tributary agreements and mining contracts (contract law). Over the years pseudo-formalisation models have mushroomed that allow claim holders and exclusive prospecting licence holders to cede mining rights to artisanal miners. This resulted in several tributary agreements signed between small scale miners and artisanal miners or other small-scale miners, and this saw the emergency of large-scale miners (LSM) and ASM coexistence through tributary agreements.

The law also allows granting of tributary agreements by holders of mining rights to others and this may be applicable to the different classes of licences including holders of Explosive Prospecting Orders (EPO), holders of gold or chrome mining claims and Mining Leases. There has been collaboration and co-existence between EPO holders and ASM in the past years. The holders of mining rights grant the rights  on special agreements, terms and conditions.  The Mines and Minerals Act regulates the granting of tribute agreements and provides for approval of tribute agreements by Mining Directors of other Mining of Mines officials. However, many artisanal and small scale miners and holders of licences in the gold and chrome mining sector have not been registered their tribute agreements with the Ministry. In some cases, the artisanal and small miners have entered into tribute agreements with onerous terms and conditions in terms of payments terms and conditions, tenure and other provisions that are not favourable to them. Some of the contracts do not include key provisions that do not clearly state the liabilities of the parties to environmental damage, human rights abuses that may occur and other duties and liabilities at the tributed claims. A lot of conflicts have occurred between holders of mining claims and artisanal and small scale miners over tribute agreements. In many cases, artisanal and small scale miners do not how to effectively negotiate and benefit from tribute agreements. At the same time since tribute agreements are becoming the norm, it appears it might offer some form of legal route through which artisanal mining can be formalised in Zimbabwe because of their prevalence. Large Scale companies are also tributing their mining claims to artisanal miners or cooperatives.

In this context a local organisation is calling for expression of interest by consultants to undertake the research on tribute agreements guided by the following conditions; 

  • Objective of the Study  

To carry out an assessment of tributary mining contracts and agreements in Zimbabwe and the possible implications they have on responsible mineral sourcing and the parties involved in the contract.

2.1 Specific Objectives (Terms of References)

  • To review the existing legal and policy framework on the use of tribute agreements in the mining sector—looking at the gaps and weaknesses
  • Assess the nature, scope and prevalence of the use of tributary agreements in Zimbabwe by ASM miners, large scale miners and holders of mining rights
  • Assess the challenges and advantages attendant to the use of tribute agreements to artisanal miners, small scale miners and large-scale miners. This should be informed by interviews with key informants and theoretical assessments. 
  • Assess the benefits and costs associated with the use of tributary agreements to artisanal and small-scale miners as a model for formalization of artisanal mining
  • The review should be based on an analysis of existing (approved and unofficial) tribute agreements-therefore access to tribute agreements is important
  • Recommend how tribute agreements can best suit the needs of artisanal and small-scale miners
  • Recommend the best model or aspects that should be included in a tribute agreement including those related to responsible sourcing and mining standards in the ASM sector
  • Key Deliverables and timelines
  • Conduct desk review of tribute agreements or contracts signed artisanal and small scale miners in Zimbabwe.
  • Produce a report on the findings with recommendations.
  • Develop a model tribute contracts that can be adapted for use in the ASM sector in Zimbabwe that can be shared with Parliament, Ministry of Mines, large scale miners and associations and ASMers to influence legal reforms.
  • Time Frame

The study will be undertaken within a period of one month from the date of signing the contract with the consultant

  • Applicant requirements/Relevant qualifications

Only persons with legal qualifications (at least LLB) Degree or other higher qualifications are eligible. The individual should demonstrate in the their CV and expression of interest experience of research, reviewing and advising Parliament or other Government bodies on mining contracts. Knowledge and research on OECD and other Responsible sourcing systems and standards is required. Experience and knowledge of artisanal and small scale mining practices, mining legislation and the law making processes at Parliament level are also highly desired. 

  • To apply.

A short Expression of Interest (EOI) which is not more than 2 pages is required. The EOI must detail applicant’s understanding of the TORs, costs; a summary of applicant’s skills and experience relevant to conducting this kind of assignment; applicant’s Curriculum Vitae, with names of three referees and their contact details (email and phone). Applications which do not contain all the above documents will be regarded as incomplete and will not be considered. Applications must be addressed to by the 28th of February 2021. The title of the consultancy should be clearly stated in the email subject and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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