This paper analyses current policy and legislation in relation to the praxis of artisanal gold mining in Mozambique. Approximately 20,000 people are involved in artisanal mining in central Mozambique, producing annually 480–600 kg of gold, 85–90% of which remains in the informal economy. The current legislation, however, is inadequate: artisanal mining is supposed to take place in predetermined “designated areas”, none of which are gold-rich, and, artisanal miners are supposed to get an individual mining pass from provincial authorities, which rarely occurs.