Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) directly employs upwards of 40 million people, and supports the livelihoods of over 150 million more across 80 countries worldwide.
This topic overview outlines what ASM is, its importance to jobs and wealth creation in poor and rural communities, significant contribution to the world’s supply of metals and minerals, and the many economic benefits of activities to host countries. It also provides details on why approximately 80% of miners in the sector operate informally and illegally, and the resulting negative socio-economic impacts on people and the environment that this has given rise to. Finally, a range of formalisation and support initiatives are highlighted to help policymakers and governments identify ways to harness the sector for growth and development.
This ASM topic overview is comprised of the following chapters: