Justin the little artisanal miner

It’s the middle of the night when this little man wakes up. He is only about twelve years old. Nobody knows exactly when he was born. He stretches out on his worn mat. He wears the work clothes he wore yesterday and the days before that. His clothes are dusty and black with sweat, torn 

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Environmental Challenges in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

Typical environmental impacts of artisanal and small-scale mining are as follows: deforestation, topsoil removal, use of chemicals such as mercury for gold processing as well as for silver, unmanaged runoff and drainage issues, siltation of rivers – which can affect river ecosystems, disruption of naturally occurring chemicals in the soil. For example, in Nigeria artisanal 

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The Formalization of Artisanal Gold Mining

When I (Etienne) started working in artisanal mining in West Africa, artisanal gold mining was seen, by international and government agencies, as a problem that had to be eradicated at all costs. As a result, the world of artisanal gold mining had to remain anonymous and informal, they didn’t fit current frameworks… Today things have 

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ASM Training Centers

One of the emerging topics that’s come out is the mercury agenda. Artisanal and small-scale miners and the processing centers where they take their ore, are the number one emitter of human-released mercury in the world. As a result of this, there is a treaty that was signed in 2013 called the Minamata Convention. This 

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The Barksanem™ License Part 2 – a contextualized ASM solution

The Barksanem™ (BSM™) System is marketed under license specifically to mining industry professionals. It has three main components:  our proprietary diagnostic system called the “Territorial Approach”, the implementation of small-scale mining engineering (ASM) and the digitalization of the entire supply chain which is associated with a virtual currency (for more info, see our article on 

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The Barksanem™ License Part 1 – Fast-tracking ASM operations

To meet the strong demands in the ASM sector (technical constraints, integration and the formalization of artisanal miners, Fairmined certification, social and environmental challenges etc..) we created the Barksanem™ License. The License contains a portfolio of solutions to implement Small-Scale mining operations, fast-track ASM integration into a given territory and to enhance business growth around a 

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Technical Challenges in Artisanal Mining

  There are many different challenges faced by the artisanal miner, one of which is technical challenges. We have seen mining shafts as deep as 80 meters (260 feet) with small air hoses that miners’ breath into, securing themselves with hemp ropes. The lack of precautionary safety measures puts the miners’ lives at risk on 

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Visit to an Artisanal Mining Village

Have you ever visited an artisanal mining village, deep in the African bush? We speak of a village, but is it really one? In reality, there are hundreds, even thousands of huts that intertwine to make up and organize the artisanal gold mining collectivity. The houses are made of straw or canvas and tin roofs. 

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The Formalization of Artisanal Mining

In many commonly referred to “emerging” nations, the informal sector is often predominant in shaping the economic fabric, compared to the “formal” sector. It is generally thought that when a person doesn’t register his business, this is done in order to avoid paying taxes. Very often, people’s lack of confidence in their government, their financial 

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