Barksanem™ and ASM Part 2
Many have asked, why does Barksanem™ (BSM™) only focus on the ASM space (Artisanal and small-scale mining)?
We have already started to answer this question here: Barksanem™ and ASM Part 1…
In that article I spoke about the economic reasons that make our choice incontestably evident. Numbers don’t lie as they say….
To take matters one step further, I am reminded of quote “in order to fix a problem you must be a part of the solution”. What differentiates Barksanem™ and its unique business model is the word “integration”.
First, the backstory:
Precarious working conditions
Non-formalized ASM activities primarily operate with rudimentary tools and techniques. Unfortunately, their environmental, health and safety practices are often very insufficient and, in many cases, inexistent. For instance, dust particles from quartz created from crushing rocks, where gold is encapsulated, induce acute respiratory diseases and even death. Mercury use and improper disposal also contaminates crops and rivers, which makes water hazardous for drinking and culminating in a substantial decrease in safe food production. It can also have detrimental health impacts, including irreversible brain damage. In Africa, most of these risks are borne by women.
According to the Minamata Convention there is an estimated at 1,400 tons of mercury released in artisanal and small-scale mining per year.
ASM and LSM … coexistence or archenemies?
In many countries, ASM and LSM (Large-Scale Mining) operate on adjacent concessions and in several cases, on the same concession. As mineral governance initiatives have a tendency to show partiality to foreign direct investment by international companies over local ASM companies, there are considerable power struggles over claims. That said, their coexistence creates the potential for cooperation. However, ongoing tensions across the planet between ASM–LSM relations have led to many forcible removals of artisanal miners from LSM concessions, which will never lead to land dispute resolution and leaves many families and children without shelter and sources of income.
But who is the rightful owner of the land? The ancestral people that have worked their land for longer than the existence of some nations or the multinational that legally obtained mining rights form the administrative government? The answer is often complex and solution is often emotionally charged.
In a recent interview, the CEO of Barksanem™ indicated that he chose to limit himself to the establishment of ASMs or artisanal and semi-mechanized mining and not develop an “Industrial mine”. « The reasons are to be found in our Territorial Approach which allows the mining activity to intrinsically integrate with the village and / or mining community thus making mining fully ingrained into the development of the territory. » This would be extremely difficult to manage in the framework of industrial mining practices, for example » he explained.
Barksanem™’s Territorial Approach takes into consideration local dynamics and problems of a given territory, working in harmony with the traditional, as well as the administrative authorities, integrating mining and all the ancillary initiatives, with the life and the development of said territory. In other words, Barksanem™ becomes an intricate, integrated fiber of the territory.
Economic, Social and Environmental
« Ultimately, while becoming a successful mining company, the Barksanem™ License contributes to the virtuous circle for micro-communities through mining in economic, social and environmental terms. » he said. Our territorial approach and our subsequent research has led us to develop an overall strategy of cycles of circular economy. Among other advantages that will directly benefit the people. Agricultural projects (economic alternatives for women), education, health, access to water and sanitation, energy solutions. The registration of gold miners on Barksanem™ sites, but also elsewhere and if possible throughout the country, will provide access to information, until now very incomplete, about a population difficult to accompany due to its mobility, its fragility and the difficulties of integration encountered in many places in the country as in most countries where mining is at the heart of their economy.
Barksanem, Inc. (Houston, Texas, USA)
World Bank Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining
The International Institute for Sustainable Development