Formalizing Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining; A Case Study of Côte d'Ivoire

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Formalizing Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining; A Case Study of Côte d'Ivoire

Type: Master thesis
Title: Formalizing Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining; A Case Study of Côte d'Ivoire
Author: Sauerwein, Titus
Issue Date: 2017-08-31
Keywords: formalisation, ASM, Cote d'Ivoire, artisanal small-scale mining
Abstract: The purpose of this thesis was to broaden understanding of the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASM) formalisation experience in Côte d’Ivoire. The research was focussed on how the formal regulatory framework for ASM is connected to the informal status of the sector in the country. The research has presented different findings. Firstly, due to a long period of political instability and a high international gold price, the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector has experienced a strong growth over the 1999-2011 period in Côte d’Ivoire. In a response to the strong growth and the negative social and environmental impacts of the sector the government of Côte d’Ivoire presented the PNRO in 2013 for the effective regulation of the sector. While the program was aimed to end in 2016, the implementation of the process is still ongoing. The direct results of the program and experiences of different stakeholder in the field present an image of a formal regulatory framework that was ineffective: no (or very limited) authorisations have been handed out, no geologically viable ASM corridors have been identified and the negative impacts of the ASM sector, including LSM-ASM conflicts, have not decreased. This narrow focus, together with the bureaucratic procedures and costs to obtain an authorisation, the private control of informal gold mines by high ranking politicians, the prioritization of large scale mining and a lack of capacity by the government, have contributed to the design and implementation of an ineffective formal regulatory framework for the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector in the country. A consequence of this, is that with the current approach the sector is deemed to stay informal and increases the likelihood of ASM-LSM conflicts. This scenario is unwanted, because it leaves the ones that most need an effective regulatory framework left in informality, it increases problems with insecurity for mining companies and creates a huge losses of tax revenues for the government. The sole actors that profit from an informal ASM sector are the ones that benefit from the illicit trade of gold.
Supervisor: Goede, Meike de
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: African Studies (Master)
Specialisation: MA African Studies
ECTS Credits: 15

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