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Biometric registration of artisanal miners underway

Artisan and small scale mining is Uganda has important implications for sustainable development. Steps are being moved by Government to improve the economic, social, health and safety environment for artisanal and small scale miners with the launch of the biometric registration study. The launch of the biometric registration consultancy where finger prints and identificat... Read more

NEMA Approves Tilenga ESIA

The Uganda National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has approved the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Tilenga project and issued a 10 years’ certificate to Total E&P Uganda B.V. and Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Limited for the development of six oil fields, an industrial area, buried infield pipelines and supporting infrastructures, ... Read more

Kenya crude oil capacity economically unviable for refinery

Crude oil deposits discovered in Kenya are insufficient to justify construction of a refinery, a senior petroleum ministry official said on Tuesday. Kenya discovered commercial oil in 2012 in its Lokichar basin, which Tullow Oil estimates contains an estimated 560 million barrels in proven and probable reserves. Tullow has said this would translate to 60,000 to 100,000 b... Read more

International mining forum opens in Sudan

  The Fourth Annual Sudan International Mining Forum and Exhibition opened on Monday in capital Khartoum, with more than 40 countries in participation. “This forum is convened under very complicated regional and international circumstances,” said Sudan’s Prime Minister Mutaz Musa, when addressing the forum’s opening session. The current challenge... Read more


In many countries, 70 to 80 per cent of small-scale miners are informal. Despite the inform nature of the sector, Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) has in the recent years grown rampantly because of the rising value of minerals globally.

A miner in Mubende

According to a report released by the Intergovernmental Forum (IGF) Global Trends in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM): A Review of Key Numbers and Issues, the number of people directly engaged in ASM has risen from 6 million in 1993 to over 40 million in 2017.

ASM Graph



However, because of the informal nature of the trade, artisanal mining has been linked to damaging socioeconomic, health and environmental impacts, which trap the majority of miners and communities in cycles of poverty and exclude them from legal protection and support.

Despite its low productivity, ASM is an important source of minerals. It accounts for about 20 per cent of the global gold supply, 80 per cent of the global sapphire supply and 20 per cent of the global diamond supply. ASM is also a major producer of minerals indispensable for manufacturing popular electronic products, such as laptops and phones. For example, 26 per cent of global tantalum production and 25 per cent of tin comes from ASM.

Many miners resort to mining as an alternative source of income and move from one mine site to another basing on availability of minerals. Others resort to mining as an alternative to agriculture. Many miners are unskilled reason for which their Environmental, Health and Safety practices tend to be very poor.

To be able to earn from minerals in an informal sector, some organized groups have adopted responsible mining practices by eliminating child labor in mines, improving social and environmental practices among other measures and adopting other standards of Fairtrade to be able to sell their gold on the international market and earn from it.

Download Full Report HERE