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184_asm Mmsd Report 2002

184_asm Mmsd Report 2002

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84_asm Mmsd Report 2002
84_asm Mmsd Report 2002

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Published by: sufistudent on Jun 10, 2013
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315Characteristics and Products of ASM
315Who Are Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners? 317What Does ASM Produce
318Environmental Impact321Hazards to Health322Social Issues322Relationships with Others in the Mining Sector
322Government324Large Mining Companie326International, Donor, and Non-governmental Organizations 
326Maximizing the Contribution of ASM to SustainableDevelopment
327Supporting Rural Developmen328Assisting Women in Minin328Eliminating Child Labour in Mine328Protecting the Environmen329Better Markets for ASM Products 330Access to Finance and Credi330Associations for Artisanal and Small-scale Miners 331Improving Relationship
333The Way Forward334Endnotes
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Most attention in the mining industry is focused onlarge companies,but in many parts of the world,particularly in developing countries,minerals areextracted by artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) – by people working with simple tools and equipment,usually in the informal sector,outside the legal andregulatory framework.The vast majority are very poor,exploiting marginal deposits in harsh and oftendangerous conditions – and with considerable impacton the environment.ASM is a livelihoods strategy adopted primarily inrural areas.In many cases,mining represents the mostpromising,if not the only,income opportunityavailable.However,ASM activities are often viewednegatively by governments,large companies,environmentalists,and others.Concerns range from theuse of child labour and the potential for environmentaldamage (particularly through the use of mercury ingold mining) to the use of ASM revenue to financeconflicts,the social disruption and conflict sometimescaused by ‘rush’operations,the high incidence of prostitution,and the spread of HIV/AIDS wheremigrant workers are involved.At the extreme,governments consider the sector illegaland attempt to ban it through different means.In manycases (since ASM falls outside the regulatoryframework),they simply neglect it,thereby allowingnegative social and environmental impacts to beaggravated.In only a few cases has this part of themining sector been supported and regulatedsuccessfully.The relationship between large companiesand small-scale miners is poorly understood and oftentroubled,with mutual mistrust and sometimes conflict.Large companies may consider small-scale miners as‘trespassers’,while small-scale miners may see thegranting of a concession to a large company asdepriving them of their land and livelihoods.Althoughexamples of more positive relationships are beginningto emerge,accusations are still made that governmentsand large mining companies,sometimes in collusion,forcibly evict small-scale miners from their land.The relative contribution of ASM to sustainabledevelopment depends on the priorities accorded todifferent objectives.In terms of meeting the world’sneed for minerals,large companies currently dominateoverall.For some minerals – such as emeralds andtungsten – virtually all production is from ASM.Froman economic perspective,most resources can be minedfar more efficiently and intensively using large-scalemining methods,and in terms of environmentaldamage,small-scale mining generally has a greater impact per unit of output.From a livelihoodsperspective,ASM often provides the only means of obtaining income and is therefore important.Yet for many people it never provides more than a subsistancewage,so its actual contribution is often limited.In the short to medium term,whatever thecontribution – whether positive or negative – at thepoorer end of the spectrum ASM activities willcontinue for at least as long as poverty drives them.Moreover,the rights of individuals to secure alivelihood must be respected,as must the objectives of meeting basic needs and maximizing economic well-being.It is therefore essential that efforts be made tomaximize the benefits brought by small-scale miningand to avoid or mitigate the costs.Attempts to achievethis are constrained by a number of factors.Some of these,such as the lack of government and communitycapacity,apply to larger companies as well.Othersare specific to ASM,such as poor access to financeand a lack of collective capacity,particularly for artisanal mining with operations at an individual or household level.In the longer term,however,many ASM activities arelikely to disappear naturally if progress towardssustainable development is made since alternative,moreattractive employment options for small-scale minerswill become available.This is not to say that someforms of ASM will not persist,particularly thoseundertaken seasonally on a low intensity scale or thosethat are formalized and managed in a collective waywhere the nature of deposits lend themselves tosmaller-scale activities.This chapter provides an overview of artisanal andsmall-scale mining in developing countries and thesocial,environmental,and economic issues associatedwith it.ASM’s relationships with government,large-scale mining,and international institutions arediscussed.Examples of initiatives aimed at improvingor supporting ASM,including its contribution at thenational and local level,and at reducing itsenvironmental impact are given.But no one issuepertaining to ASM can be dealt with in isolation.Anyattempts to introduce change – for example,to reducethe environmental impact of ASM or to phase outchild labour – must be accompanied by awareness
building and the provision of immediate incentives.These may come in the form of tangible economic or health benefits or alternative livelihood opportunities.Efforts must also consider the broader objectives of sustainable rural development.The chapter is based on a summary of a global reporton ASM commissioned by MMSD.In addition thechapter draws on 18 country studies commissioned byMMSD (on Bolivia,Brazil,Burkina Faso,China,Ecuador,Ghana,India,Indonesia,Malawi,Mali,Mozambique,Papua New Guinea,Peru,Philippines,South Africa,Tanzania,Zambia,Zimbabwe) as well asthe outputs of a regional and global workshop hostedby MMSD.The country studies provide a moredetailed understanding of the legal status of artisanaland small-scale miners;the status,role,and importanceof ASM in a country;specific support activities for thesector;and interactions between small-scale miners andlarge exploration and mining companies.
Characteristics and Products of ASM
There is as yet no widely accepted definition of artisanal and small-scale mining.The term can be usedto cover a broad spectrum of activities – from thearmy-run Hpakant jade mines in Myanmar,for example,to individual
panning for gold inremote regions of the Brazilian Amazon,as well asformer state mining company workers or laid off private-company employees who have organizedthemselves into cooperatives.
At the other end of thescale,particularly in industrial countries,are manyquite sophisticated industrialized small-scale miningactivities.This chapter largely focuses on artisanal andsmall-scale mining in developing countries that use themost basic methods for extraction and processing.The broadest distinction – and the one followed here – is between artisanal mining,which may involve onlyindividuals or families and is purely manual,and small-scale mining,which is more extensive and usuallymore mechanized.Another distinction is in the natureof miners’rights to the land.In some instances,small-scale miners have legal title to the land that they work,which is recognized by the state and others.In other cases,they work land they have traditionally inhabitedbut without any recognition of land rights from thestate,or they may be working the land informally andregarded as illegal squatters by local and stateauthorities.Of the two groups,artisanal miners aremore likely to be working without legal mining title.But artisanal and small-scale miners also share manycharacteristics,broadly speaking:They exploit marginal or small deposits.They lack capital.They are labour-intensive,with low rates of recovery.They have poor access to markets and supportservices.They have low standards of safety and health.They have a significant impact on the environment.
 Who Are Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners?
Most of these miners – men,women,or children – arerural and poor.In such countries as Bolivia,Colombia,Indonesia,Mali,the Philippines,and Zimbabwe,theyoften come from communities that have a longtradition of small-scale mining.But they are notnecessarily involved in this full-time.Artisanal minersoften work seasonally:in Malawi,for instance,subsistence farmers mine gemstones in the dry seasonwhen there is less agricultural work.People may alsotake up mining as a last resort during periods of economic recession – as has happened in Bolivia,Peru,Venezuela,and Zimbabwe.Many other people cansuddenly be drawn into mining following thediscovery of new mineral reserves,as with gold or diamond ‘rushes’during which thousands of peoplehope to make their fortunes.Examples of this includeSerra Pelada in Brazil (gold),Mt.Kare in Papua NewGuinea (gold),Ilakakain in Madagascar (sapphire),andNambija in Ecuador (gold).ASM activities can alsofollow environmental shocks,as occurred in SouthernEcuador following the 1985 El Niño.
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