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Formalizing Artisanal Gold Mining under the Minamata Convention: Previewing the Challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa

Hilson, Gavin, Zolnikov, Tara Rava, Ramirez Ortiz, Daisy and Kumah, Cynthia (2018) Formalizing Artisanal Gold Mining under the Minamata Convention: Previewing the Challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa Environmental Science and Policy, 85. pp. 123-131.

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This article contributes to a growing body of literature which explores how the Minamata Convention on Mercury is influencing the development of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) – low-tech mineral extraction and processing – in sub-Saharan Africa. Conceived to raise awareness of the environmental impact of mercury and to minimize its use in industry, the Convention focuses heavily on ASM, the largest source of anthropogenic emissions of mercury worldwide. Article 7 of the Convention requires ratifying countries with ‘more than significant quantities of ASGM [artisanal and small-scale gold mining]’ to draft comprehensive National Action Plans (NAPs) that outline training programs for the handling of mercury and strategies for reducing emissions from artisanal and small-scale gold mines. The focus here, however, is on one point in particular, the importance of which, thus far, has been largely-overlooked: the need for ratifying countries to include in their NAPs ‘Steps to facilitate the formalization or regulation of the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector’. In sub-Saharan Africa, where most ASM activities are found in the informal ‘space’, this promises to be a contentious issue moving forward. The article explains why this is the case, drawing heavily on findings from research being conducted in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Mali, three of the region’s most dynamic ASM economies.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Zolnikov, Tara Rava
Ramirez Ortiz, Daisy
Kumah, Cynthia
Date : 17 April 2018
DOI : 10.1016/j.envsci.2018.03.026
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Small-scale gold mining; Formalization; Minamata Convention on Mercury; Global health; Policy
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 05 Apr 2018 15:11
Last Modified : 18 Apr 2019 02:08

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