How can informal, artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) benefit poor local communities without degrading the environment? This action-research project examines micro-level mineral-based livelihoods to place them in context of agrarian transition. It investigates production and labour processes, commodity-supply chains, and gendered Read More…

Are informal gold miners environment destroyers? Are they involved in this livelihood due to poverty? Are they local poor responding to a rapidly changing global political economy of gold? This project aims to answer these (and other) questions by focusing research attention on three particular informal gold mining Read More…

Mining is not done just by corporations or companies, neither do the practices imply the extraction of highly valuable minerals and metal ores such as gold and gemstones such as diamonds. Read More…

From the Gallery

  • Sylhet, Bangladesh - women carrying gravel

About ASM

What is informal mining?
A diverse range of informal, artisanal and small-scale modes of mineral extraction practices exist in the less developed countries of the world, and countries in the Asia-Pacific region is no exception. Globally, over 20 million people in developing countries depend on informal mining for their livelihoods, producing large amounts of mineral Read More…

Legality

One of the tasks of researchers and practitioners working on informal mining and ASM is to reconsider what is generally seen and described as illegality or illegal use of mineral resources. Here it is important to draw on the body of literature by social scientists who suggest that law itself is not just time and context-specific, but also socially constructed and is intimately associated with Read More…

Issues

Gender issues are of great importance in the ASM sector as large numbers of women tend to form the lowest level in the sector. To investigate the extent, Kuntala undertook a scoping study on the gender and livelihood issues in the small mines and quarries in South Asia. This site contains a number of documents such as conference papers as well as reports from the scoping study that relate Read More…