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 systems, as well as the difficulties in appropriating the current laws and regulations, incentivize one’s path to enter and remain in some form of informality.

As a result, over time informal systems have become structured and substitute formal systems while appropriating certain behavior patterns. For example, group operating rules replacing state regulations, or « tontines » replacing banks.

In some cases, solutions from informal systems provide judicious responses to the population and are worthy of interest. In other cases, they may resemble mafia systems and must be eradicated.

« Formalization » is a widely discussed theme in various international conferences as the cornerstone of a nation’s economic development. If this topic is frequently mentioned, rightly so, it remains the case that the scope of intervention and the managerial methods that can lead to this « formalization » of certain areas of activity are not clearly defined.

The approach undertaken by Barksanem™ with regard to the mining sector and that of the miners in particular, defines a perimeter of intervention which is that of the micro-collectivity, as well as a management method, the Territorial Approach, fully incorporating the mining activity within this micro-community.

The approach then focuses on the human aspect by analyzing cultural, religious, organizational and environmental realities, allowing the introduction of technologies and know-how in proportionate ways, encouraging people to join a formalization process.

This small-scale formalization, advocated by Barksanem™, can be easily duplicated in all areas of mining, and even beyond.


Barksanem™ (BSM™) Enables targeted micro-collectivities of artisanal gold miners, to access appropriate and innovative, less dangerous and context-sensitive technologies.


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