People-Centric Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

One of the building blocks of Barksanem™’s mining vision is “people” and more broadly their “community“. The management team of Barksanem™ adhere to the belief that without man there is no business, no market, no supply chain, no value chain, no blockchain etc. Technology, organizations, capital and even the end product make sense only if people remain the primary intention of the entrepreneurial approach.

In the mining sector, and that of ASM in particular, the human factor, like the environmental factor, is the most fragile. This is the main reason why we developed our approach called the “Territorial Approach”. Failure to take into consideration the living situations of the artisanal miners and their families, the employees of the mining company or the villagers impacted by the activity itself would be counter-intuitive. The gold produced would have no virtue! At least that’s what we believe, don’t forget that Barksanem™ in the Moore language (Burkina Faso) means “gold is a blessing”…

Since the dawn of time, gold has been considered a “circulating good” that has facilitated trade between people and tribes, contributing to their prosperity and peace. It should be the same today. On a mining site, when all stakeholders in the territory agree that the mining activity is a source of real development, everyone benefits! The mining company itself evolves in a peaceful environment, in which it can consider that it is truly interconnected into the territory. Its investment at the heart of which is human is not a short-term action, on the contrary, it anticipates and assumes “naturally” its share of responsibilities for the future.

In recent years, many international institutions, NGOs and even corporations have taken on the problems of the ASM world. This is an excellent thing and today, more and more people and governments are sensitized and looking for appropriate solutions. Many are now positioning themselves on the issues highlighted as well as the market and the opportunity. It’s about transparency, tracking, value chain, blockchain, etc. All of this is legitimate, but so far, the hyper focus on current competitive technologies can make us forget the most essential. As Claude Kabemba said at the ASM conference in Geneva on July 4th 2018, “Are we doing what we are doing to sleep better at night and ease our collective consciousness, or are we working for the people whose lives are directly affected by our initiatives?” We mustn’t forget the most important, at the heart of the ASM equation remains the artisan himself, his life, his family and his context.

Our team, is not composed of utopians nor even idealists! We know that the reality on the ground is sometimes quite distant from the goals of the project itself. However, we believe that fundamentally the human foundation of business, such as the environmental, cultural and economic foundations, are the essential ingredients of a responsible, prosperous and sustainable business. In any case, it is our choice, our philosophy and the License that Barksanem ™, Inc. offers.

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