Mining Sustainability in Artisanal Mining in Africa

Mining Sustainability in Artisanal Mining in Africa
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Mining is very vital in modern living, since it’s the only way we can meet the ever-increasing demand for minerals in all industries. Human life is tightly tied to consumption of mineral resources making mining unavoidable. This is why we must invest heavily in ensuring that we benefit from the mineral resources, without compromising their availability to the future generation; in other words we must enhance mining sustainability.
In as much as mining sustainability has been enhanced by most large-scale miners, focus must be shifted to improve the same in the artisanal mining. Artisanal mining employs about 30million people worldwide which is about ten times the number in large scale mining hence this category cannot be ignored.
Many artisanal miners live with in poverty, social exclusion and deplorable ecosystems. They are normally neglected by government, are always involved in resource conflicts amongst themselves and are overlooked by donors and well-wishers.
It is the right time for governments to optimize the potential in this mining category. Artisanal miners must be empowered with technical knowhow on the efficient and effective mining procedures, technologies, health and safety procedures, environmental protection, mine rehabilitation techniques and dynamics in mineral economics inorder to ensure sustainable livelihood for them. It will also help in mitigating the negative effects of mining during and after the minelife.
It is time to integrate the artisanal miners in economic and rural development plans, legalize their operations and help them access financial and technical support.


  1. “They are normally neglected by government” this is a wrong term as used in text above. It would be better to say that artisanal miners avoid government procedures and prefer shortcut methods. being an Inspector of Mines based in Migori region of Kenya I can assure you that the government of Kenya is trying in as much as possible to reach out to the unregistered or rather unlicensed miners


    1. Thank you for the observation Eng. Paul. Indeed Kenya has progressed well in incorporating the artisanal miners, especially with the new mining laws. It will take time however to fully achieve this. Many African nations can learn from this


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