Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
DEBRAH, A.A.; WATSON, I. and QUANSAH, D.P.O.. Comparison between artisanal and small-scale mining in Ghana and South Africa: lessons learnt and ways forward. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2014, vol.114, n.11, pp. 913-921. ISSN 2411-9717.
Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) plays a fundamental role in the national and local economies of resource-rich countries in Africa. As such, more effort must be geared towards fostering this type of economic activity to sustain livelihoods in rural communities. Across Africa, efforts to operationalize ASM based on a sustainable development framework have been quite tedious and often ineffective. This is because most of these frameworks lacked context and an understanding of the continuum from the artisanal through small-scale and up to the junior miner, grouped under the general term 'ASM'. Driven by the need to contextualize some of the definitional issues in this niche sector, and gain a clearer understanding of their peculiar challenges, this paper aims to contribute to the debate on ASM by considering two of Africa's resource-rich countries - Ghana and South Africa. Since South Africa has made greater inroads in protecting the interests of small-scale miners, we thus draw comparisons from both countries' approach to ASM, outline the lessons learnt, and provide recommendations regarding the ways forward.
Keywords : artisanal and small-scale mining; ASM; poverty reduction; legal framework; value addition; support structures.