The Case for Investing in Artisanal Mining

Over the last few decades, African governments have removed restrictions on and privatised their mining industries, attracting significant foreign direct investment. As a result, the continent’s mining industry has become dominated by transnational corporations such as Glencore, AngloAmerican and Barrick Gold. Alongside these corporate giants, operating largely beyond the formal reach and control of African governments, sits the artisanal and small-scale mining sector. Roughly one quarter of the global gold, tin and tantalum supply is produced by artisanal and small-scale miners. In 2019, there were an estimated 10 million people working in the sector across sub-Saharan Africa. Artisanal mining is the most important source of livelihood after agriculture in South Kivu. Nevertheless, transnational corporations have hoovered up the most valuable and strategically important deposits, forcing artisanal miners to more marginal and less productive areas.


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