The contemporaneousness of Large-Scale Mining companies (LSMs) and Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining companies (ASMs) is a quandary that has existed since the inception of Mining Ministries and government allocated concessions. One could compare the tensions between industrial companies setting up operations in a given territory for which they have obtained all the proper legal authorizations from the State, on one hand, and the artisanal miners who have been physically present (for sometimes many generations) on the same land leased to the LSM, on the other hand, as a form of colonization!
LSM companies have legal legitimacy to extract ore from the earth whereas ASMs have traditional legitimacy to live off the territory and to harvest its resources within the context of a subsistence economy. The interests of the two are completely antagonistic and until proven otherwise, to this day, there does not exist a halcyonic collaboration between LSM and ASM on the same shared land… Moreover, and in many cases, artisans and their families, like the villagers, are displaced, sometimes a bit violently, thus amplifying the unrest between the two groups. In some situations, industrial operations simply make life impossible, for both people and fauna and flora, due to high levels pollution in the atmosphere.
While there are initiatives that seek to mitigate risk and alleviate tensions between LSM and ASM, the vast majority of industrial mining companies face the dilemma of coexistence with artisanals. Within the framework of The Barksanem™ License, we propose a solution integrating the operations of artisanal miners into that of the LSM company. This approach, based on Barksanem™’s know-how, is centered around the Territorial Approach™ and the tracking of the Value Chain which seeks both the interests of the territory’s stakeholders and the preservation and development of said territory. Theoretically, LSM and ASM strive for the shared interest of their collective territory.
Barksanem™’s Territorial Approach consists of the formalization and support of ASMs by trained and dedicated LSM personnel, in order to improve their practices and operations. This formalization and the proximity of the two entities’ interests in the same territory make it possible to self-finance the development of the territory, socially, environmentally and micro-economically. The recognition of the role of ASMs in the economic fabric of a territory and more broadly of mineral-producing countries, their formalization, their support, and ultimately their development, would appear to be the only way to resolve tensions between LSMs and ASMs that have existed for far too long.