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Artisanal Mining Communities in South Africa

Artisanal mining (ASM) is a controversial form of small scale mining undertaken by low income communities in the global South

Artisanal mining (ASM) is a controversial form of small scale mining undertaken by low income communities in the global South. ASM provides (often informal) employment to approximately one hundred million people globally, and is a particularly important livelihood strategy in areas where there is a shortage of job opportunities in the formal sector.  In South Africa, ASM involves the mining of coal through small, usually illegal enterprises; the practice that has become more commonplace following job losses in the formal mining sector which led to more communities resorting ASM as their primary means of earning an income.

The authors of the paper on which this case study is based: Etienne Nel, University of Otago, New Zealand; Tony Binns, University of Otago, New Zealand; Matthew Gibb, Independent Researcher, Paris, France

Appeared in: The Geographical Journal: Volume 180, Issue 2

Reference: Nel, E. Binns, T. and Gibb, M. (2014) Community development at the coal face: networks and sustainability among artisanal mining communities in Indwe, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa


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