Africa, many young rural people are engaged in artisanal gold mining to feed their families. Artisanal gold miners are exposed to a lot of mortal risks. They challenge death every day in gold mines in search of gold. Some gold miners can easily make millions in a few days after hard work in a mine and others can make months without finding anything.
There are two types of artisanal gold miners, all trained on the job:
- born gold miners, for which gold mining is the main activity
- gold miners by existential constraints.
Today, more than 1 million people are carrying out this activity in Mali, similar to many other countries in West Africa. Many young Africans prefer to take the risk in the mines, which can earn them millions in a short time than to stay at home to complain or hope that the government will offer them work.
Artisanal gold mining is a sector that many investors overlook. Artisanal gold panning is a sector that is not well supervised in “West Africa”. Despite the negative factors of artisanal mining, artisanal gold production could represent the equivalent of 40 to 50% of industrial production in West Africa. The gold found on the African market, 95 to 98% is gold produced by artisanal gold miners and 70 to 80% of African gold on the international market.
Is it possible to properly supervise artisanal gold mining in Africa?
Yes, it is possible, the main objective of the “SCOOPS ANAGO” Gold Miners Cooperative is to properly supervise the gold washers in order to minimize the mortal risks on the gold panning sites. For this reason the President of the Gold Miners Cooperative decides to work only with partners who can invest to properly supervise these gold miners.
What are the challenges of artisanal mining?
Lack of funding and training of artisanal gold miners. The use of chemicals, namely mercury, cyanide salts, sulfuric and nitric acids. Detergents, hydrocarbons and battery components are also pollutants for the environment, etc.
What are the solutions to improve artisanal gold mining?
• Carry out a general census: gold panning sites and gold miners: This census will make it possible to list all the gold panning sites, but also to know the real needs and difficulties in the field.
• Organize a rational organization of gold washers: gold miners are self-employed workers who, by their nature, do not belong to any system of rational organization.
• Provide technical and financial support to artisanal gold miners: the organization of gold panning will allow gold panners to gain the trust of technical and financial partners. Today, artisanal gold miners have no access to any capital. Having neither status nor fixed income, banks do not extend credit to them.
• Monitor and control the activity of artisanal gold miners so that gold mining can benefit everyone.
If our governments and leaders can invest in artisanal mining and small mines, Africa’s economy can grow quickly. Artisanal mining and small mines are the fastest methods to get gold unlike large industrial mines which take many years to start mining and to reach this level, it requires a lot of funding at risk.
The 98% largest mining companies in Africa are for foreigners. Why?
Those who allow us to have gold in Africa if we want to buy gold to make jewelry are these gold miners who risk their lives. It is time for our African governments to take gold mining in Africa seriously. Africa has so much natural wealth but we are considered the poorest in the World.
Africa is not a poor continent, wake up! If we do not act, no one will do it for us.
Many foreign companies take the risk to invest millions of dollars in exploration to discover an exploitable economic deposit. There are so many exploration projects but 95% do not reach the extraction level.
Africans can start investing in artisanal or small-scale mining before thinking of a big mine.
To take an exploration permit to go to the extraction it is not easy and difficult for a small company that does not generate millions of dollars per month to get there. There are so many exploration permits, the owners of which are unable to cover the expenses of one year, including a minimum of 3 years renewable for carrying out research and studies.