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Regularizing Informal Mining

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17q779April II %6 Regularizing Informal MiningA Summary of the Proceedings of theInternational Roundtable on Artisanal MiningMamadou Barry, editorPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedPublic Disclosure AuthorizedIndustry and Energy DepartmentOccasional Paper No. 6Regularizing Informal MiningA Summary of the Proceedings of theInternational Roundtable on Artisanal MiningOrganized by the World Bank,Washington, D.C., May 17-19,1995Mamadou Barry, editorApril 1996The World BankIndustry and Energy DepartmentCover: Madhia, Guyana. "Porknocker"panningforgold in a stream made turgid by high-pressurehydraulic mining operations upstream. Photo:.Laurierjalbert.ContentsAbbreviations and Acronyms ............................................................................... iv1. Introduction ............................................................................... 12. Opening Remarks ............................................................................... 23. Keynote Address .............................................................................. 34. First Session: Environmental, Health, and Safety Issues ....................................................... 55. Second Session: Organizational, Social, and Women's Participation Issues ......... .............. 76. 'Third Session: Technical and Financial Issues ................................ ....................................... 97. Fourth Session: Legal and Regulatory Issues ........................................................................ 108. Elements of a Solution .............................................................................. 129. Agenda for Action .............................................................................. 1210. Conclusions .............................................................................. 13A nnex: List of Participants .............................................................................. 15iiiAbbreviations and AcronymsCENDA Centro de Desarrollo Ccmutario y Conservation AmbientalCOTESU Coop6ration Technique SuisseCVG CorporationVenezuelana de GuyanaITDG Intermediate Technology GroupNGO Nongovernmental organizationPlan ECO+ Estudio de Impacto Ambiental CollectivoUNIFEM United Nations Development Fund forWomenivconsidered artisanal mining within the broader scopeof a small mines sector, the May roundtable was thefirst to discuss purely the problems of the artisanalI NTRODUCTION mining sector. Artisanal mining was defined for thepurposes of discussion as the most primitive type ofIn May 1995, the World Bank convened an informal, small-scale mining, characterized byinternational roundtable to discuss the problems and individuals or groups of individuals exploitingpotential of the growing number of small-scale deposits usually illegally-with the simplestiniormal-miners worldwide. The meeting was equipment.called to facilitate an exchange of views andexperiences among thoseassociated with the sector indifferent parts of the world, toassist delegates in developing * Artisanal mining is the most primitive type of mining,strategies for dealng with characterized by individuals orgroups exploitingproblems and pohcies affecting deposits-usually illegally-with the simplestsmall-scale and artisanal muiningin their own countries, and to equipment.provide input to the World Bankto formulate its own policy for * Although it provides an important source of income,the sector. artisanal mining engenders a host of problems:environmental, health, and safety concerns; labor andThe World Bank has an interest gender issues; and technical, financial, regulatory, andin informal mining because part legal issues.of the organization's mandate isto aleviate poverty, and small- * A key conclusion: No real solutions are possible unlessscale, informal miners-although they may be better off artisanal miners are givenfull legal and transferablethan many of their mining titles to their claims.compatriots-are poor. In fact,to a large extent, informalmining is a poverty-driven activity. Peter van derVeen, chief of the Industry and MiningDivision in the Industry and Energy Department ofSome 80 invited delegates from 25 countries the World Bank opened the conference andattended the roundtable. The gathering included introduced a welcoming speech byJean-Fran,oisrepresentatives from the full spectrum of interested Rischard, vice president for Finance and Privateparties-multinational agencies, governments, Sector Development of the World Bank. Then,nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), Richard Noetstaller of Leoben University, Austria,international mining companies, and the small-scale presented a keynote speech that set out the situationmi.ning community itself. and the issues to be discussed.The different aspectsand problems of artisanal mining were then discussedAlthough previous international conferences have in four sessions:12 Regularizing Informal Mining• Environmental, Health, and Safety Issues are so wide ranging that a flexible and integratedsapproach t.ckling regulatory, social, ental,and other Lssues wtll be necessary.h Technical and Financial Issuesm Regulatory andbLegal Issues. Each session began widi a series of short fornialpresentations followed by active discussions. At the OPENING REMARKSend of the conference, the delegates broke up intosmaller working groups to discuss the four groups of The roundtable was opened by the chief of theissues and draw conclusions. As the discussions Industry ard Mining Division in the Industry andprogressed, it became apparent that the four groupings Energy Department of the World Bank, Mr. Peterhad mnany aspects in common. These interrelation- van derVeen, who put the key questions as follows:ships emphasized the need for an ate integratedapproach to the issues and problems in the sector. * How can- artisanal rniining be carried out safelyand in ain environmentally acceptable manner?At the end of three days of discussions, at least onesahent conclusion emerged: no real solutions are possible a How can the sector contribute to economic progress?unless artisanal miners are givenfull legal and transferablemining


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