Formalisation of artisanal and small-scale mining

South African Resource Watch

Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) of a large variety of minerals in Africa is a key contributor to the economies of a number of countries, especially in terms of livelihoods for rural and often remote communities who have very few other options. However, artisanal and small-scale miners are invariably caught in a poverty trap from which it is very difficult to escape. Often, the activity is associated with illegality, social vices, and practices inimical to the safety and health of the operators as well as to adjoining communities and the environment. SARWatch promotes the ASM sector as an engine for sustainable development, particularly in rural areas.