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Professor Gavin Hilson

Professor and Chair of Sustainability in Business
+44 (0)1483 686326
24 MS 02


Areas of specialism

The social and environmental impacts of artisanal and small-scale mining; The extractive industries and development; Sub-Saharan Africa

My qualifications

Imperial College London
Masters of Arts
University of Toronto
BSc (Honours)
University of Toronto
The Higher Education Academy, UK

Previous roles

2007 - 2012
Reader in Environment and Development
The University of Reading
2006 - 2007
Lecturer in Development Studies
The University of Manchester
2004 - 2005
Lecturer in Environmental Planning
Cardiff University


Research interests

Research projects


Postgraduate research supervision

My publications


Hilson GM (2011) Diamonds for Development in Ghana,
Hilson GM (2010) Livelihood diversification and the expansion of artisanal mining in rural Tanzania: Drivers and policy implications, Outlook on Agriculture 39 (2) pp. 141-147 IP Publishing
Hirons M, Hilson G, Asase A, Hodson ME (2014) Mining in a changing climate: what scope for forestry-based legacies?, JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION 84 pp. 430-438 ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Hilson GM (2006) Improving Environment, Ethical and Economic Performance in the Mining Industry: Part 2: Life Cycle and Process Analysis, Innovation and Technical Change, Journal of Cleaner Production 14 (12-13) pp. 1039-1188
Hilson GM, Banchirigah SM (2010) De-Agrarianization, Re-Agrarianization and Local Economic Development: Re-Orienting Livelihoods in African Artisanal Mining Communities, Policy Sciences: an international journal devoted to the improvement of policy making 43 (2) pp. 157-180 SpringerLink
Hilson GM (2011) The Challenges of Small-Scale Mining: An Overview of Current Policy Responses,
Hilson GM (2012) Poverty Traps in Small-Scale Mining Communities: The Case of Sub-Saharan Africa, Canadian Journal of Development Studies 33 (2) pp. 180-197 Taylor and Francis
Hilson GM (2011) Working for the Family: An Overview of Child Labour Dynamics in West African Artisanal Gold Planning Communities,
Hilson GM (2009) Small-Scale Mining, Poverty and Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Overview, Resources Policy 34 (1-2) pp. 1-5 Elsevier
Hilson GM, van Bockstael S (2012) Poverty and Livelihood Diversification in Rural Liberia: Exploring the Linkages Between Artisanal Diamond Mining and Smallholder Rice Production, The Journal of Development Studies 48 (3) pp. 416-431 Taylor and Francis
Hilson GM (2008) Mercury Management at Ghanaian Small-Scale Gold Mines: What Lessons for the Guianas?,
Hilson GM (2009) Eradicating Child Labour in Artisanal Mining Communities: The Case of Sub-Saharan Africa,
Hilson GM (2008) Mining and Rural Development: The Trajectory of Diamond Production in Ghana,In: Vlassenroot K, Bockstael SV (eds.), Artisanal Diamond Mining Academia Pr Scientific Pub
Perspectives and Challenges Koen Vlassenroot, Steven Van Bockstael. here is an integrated program to both inform the local population and provide it with some legal advice and means to defend its own (land)rights, to urge the government ...
Hilson GM (2008) 'Fair Trade Gold': Antecedents, Prospects and Challenges, Geoforum 39 (1) pp. 386-400 Elsevier
Hilson GM (2008) 'A Load Too Heavy': A Critical Examination of the Child Labor Problem in African Artisanal Mining Communities, Children and Youth Services Review 30 pp. 1233-1245 Elsevier
Hilson GM (2009) Small-Scale Mining, Poverty and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa, Resources Policy 34 (1-2) pp. 1-86
Hilson GM (2010) Challenges with Eradicating Child Labour in the Artisanal Mining Sector: Experiences from Northern Ghana, Journal of Community Practice: organizing, planning, development and change 41 (3) pp. 445-473 Wiley
Hilson GM, Garforth CJ (2013) 'Everyone Now is Concentrating on the Mining': Drivers and Implications of Rural Economic Transition in the Eastern Region of Ghana, The Journal of Development Studies 49 (3) pp. 348-364 Taylor & Francis
Hilson GM (2010) Inherited Commitments: How Do Mergers and Acquisitions Affect Corporate Social Responsibility at African Gold Mines,
Hilson GM, Ackah-Baidoo A (2011) Can Microcredit Services Alleviate Hardship in African Small-Scale Mining Communities, World Development 39 (7) pp. 1191-1203 Elsevier
This paper critically examines the challenges with implementing microcreditservices for small-scale mine operators?individuals engaged in labor-intensive mineral extraction and/or processing using low-tech methods?in sub-Saharan Africa. The region?s policymakers have shied away from launching microcredit programs for small-scalemining, frustrated by the disappointing results of the past and unsure about how to proceed with implementation. Recent efforts to provide microcreditservices for operators in Talensi-Nabdam District, Northern Ghana, however, illustrate how with a renewed level of commitment and the development of blueprints which adequately address the appropriate criteria, fairly robust schemes can be launched.
Hilson G (2014) The extractive industries and development in sub-Saharan Africa: An introduction, RESOURCES POLICY 40 pp. 1-3 ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Hilson GM, Clifford MJ (2010) Small-Scale Mining, Mercury and Environmental Health: Challenges and Ways Forward in Rural Ghana, The International Journal of Environment and Pollution 41 (3-4) pp. 185-325
Hilson GM (2012) Fair Trade Gold:Prospects for Africa's Artisanal Miners, In: Reed AM, Reed D, Utting P (eds.), Business Regulation and Non-State Actors 20 Routledge
This volume assesses the achievements and limitations of a new set of non-state or multistakeholder institutions that are concerned with improving the social and environmental record of business, and holding corporations to account.
Hilson GM (2012) REDD+ and Mining in Guyana: A Critical Review,
Hilson GM (2010) Artisanal Mining in Sub-Saharan Africa: Priorities and Needs,
Maconachie R, Hilson G (2013) Editorial introduction: the extractive industries, community development and livelihood change in developing countries, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT JOURNAL 48 (3) pp. 347-359 OXFORD UNIV PRESS
Hilson GM, Hilson AE, Adu-Darko E (2014) Chinese Participation in Ghana's Informal Gold Mining Economy: Drivers, Implications and Clarifications, Journal of Rural Studies
Hilson GM (2012) Corporate Social Responsibility in the Extractive Industries: Experiences from Developing Countries, Resources Policy 37 (2) pp. 131-137
Hilson GM (2012) Fair Trade Gold: Calibrating an Unrealistic Standard?,
Hilson GM (2012) Family Hardship and Cultural Values: Child Labor in Malian Small-Scale Gold Mining Communities, World Development 40 (8) pp. 1663-1674 Elsevier
Hilson GM, Van Bockstael G (2011) Diamond Mining, Rice Farming and a "Maggi Cube": A Viable Poverty Alleviation Strategy in Rural Liberia, Journal of International Development 23 (8) pp. 1042-1053 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Hilson GM (2009) Challenges with Eradicating Child Labour in African Small-Scale Mining Communities: A Case Study of the Talensi-Nabdam, Upper East Region of Ghana,
Hilson GM (2012) Enhancing the Developmental Potential of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining,
Hilson GM (2006) Improving Environment, Ethical and Economic Performance in the Mining Industry: Part 1: Environmental Management and Sustainable Development, Journal of Cleaner Production 14 (3-4) pp. 225-462
Hilson GM (2016) Farming, small-scale mining and rural livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa: A critical overview, Extractive Industries and Society 3 (2) pp. 547-563 Elsevier
This paper reviews the literature on the linkages between subsistence agriculture and artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)?low-tech mineral extraction and processing?in Sub-Saharan Africa. It focuses specifically on the economic impact of this symbiosis on the region?s rural households and the policy treatment of this very important phenomenon. As ASM has long been perceived as a nuisance, and a sector populated mostly by rogue entrepreneurs and therefore not seen to be particularly integral to regional economic development and poverty alleviation plans/strategies, donors and policymakers have, understandably, been reluctant to embrace this idea completely. The review seeks to stimulate a critical ?rethink? of ASM in Sub-Saharan Africa: the alleviation of poverty in rural Sub-Saharan Africa could hinge on recognizing and strengthening the bonds between the sector?s activities and subsistence farming. For this to happen, however, a radical change in policy ?mind-set? is needed. This is a necessary first step toward facilitating the overhaul of a policy and regulatory framework that, to date, has stifled the legalization of ASM in Sub-Saharan Africa, and which has consequently confined the sector?s activities to informal ?spaces?.
Hilson G, Amankwah R, Ofori-Sarpong G (2013) Going for gold: transitional livelihoods in Northern Ghana, JOURNAL OF MODERN AFRICAN STUDIES 51 (1) pp. 109-137 CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS
Hilson GM, Maconachie R (2009) The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative: Panacea or White Elephant for Sub-Saharan Africa?, In: Richards J (eds.), Mining, Society, and a Sustainable World Springer
This is the first book of peer-reviewed, edited papers that examines the broad subject of the minerals industry in relation to sustainable development.
Hilson GM (2010) 'Agricultural Poverty' and the Expansion of Artisanal Mining: Case Studies from West Africa,
Hilson GM, Garforth CJ (2012) 'Agricultural Poverty? and the Expansion of Artisanal Mining in Sub-Saharan Africa: Experiences from Southwest Mali and Southeast Ghana, Population Research and Policy Review 31 (3) pp. 435-464 Springer Verlag
Why do people engage in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)?labour-intensive mineral extraction and processing activity?across sub-Saharan Africa? This paper argues that ?agricultural poverty?, or hardship induced by an over-dependency on farming for survival, has fuelled the recent rapid expansion of ASM operations throughout the region. The diminished viability of smallholder farming in an era of globalization and overreliance on rain-fed crop production restricted by seasonality has led hundreds of thousands of rural African families to ?branch out? into ASM, a move made to secure supplementary incomes. Experiences from Komana West in Southwest Mali and East Akim District in Southeast Ghana are drawn upon to illustrate how a movement into the ASM economy has impacted farm families, economically, in many rural stretches of sub-Saharan Africa
Hilson GM, Maconachie R (2011) Safeguarding Livelihoods or Exacerbating Poverty?: Artisanal Mining and Formalization in West Africa, Natural Resources Forum 35 (4) pp. 293-303 John Wiley and Sons
Hilson GM (2011) Artisanal Mining, Smallholder Farming and Livelihood Diversification in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa, The Journal of International Development 23 (8) pp. 1031-1150 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Hilson GM (2011) Artisanal Mining, Smallholder Farming and Livlihood Diversification in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa: An Introduction, Journal of International Development 23 (8) pp. 1031-1041 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Maconachie R, Hilson G (2016) Re-Thinking the Child Labor "Problem" in Rural sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Sierra Leone's Half Shovels, WORLD DEVELOPMENT 78 pp. 136-147 PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Hilson GM, Clifford MJ (2010) Small-Scale Gold Mining, the Environment and Human Health: An Introduction to the Ghana Case, International Journal of Environment and Pollution 41 (3-4) pp. 185-194 Inderscience Publishers
Hilson GM (2008) Re-Agrarianizing Rural Ghana: Can Farming-Based Alternative Livlihoods Offset Illegal Gold Mining Activity,
Hilson GM, McQuilken JT (2014) Four decades of support for artisanal and small-scale mining in sub-Saharan Africa: A critical review, The Extractive Industries and Society 1 (1) pp. 104-118 Elsevier
This review reflects critically on why, despite its growing economic importance, artisanal and small-scale (ASM) - low-tech, labour-intensive mineral extraction and processing - occupies such a peripheral position on the economic development agenda of sub-Saharan Africa. A poor understanding of the sector's role in the region's liberalized economies has certainly contributed to this oversight; as has the strong influence, at the policymaking level, of unfounded ideas and generalizations about the sector's activities. After providing a brief overview of ASM in sub-Saharan Africa, the paper explores why the sector has yet to make a mark on the region's local economic development agenda and feature prominently in its poverty alleviation strategies.
Hilson GM, Maconachie R (2011) Artisanal Gold Mining: A New Frontier in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone?, Journal of Development Studies 47 (4) pp. 595-616 Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
This paper argues that a formalised small-scale gold mining sector could ameliorate Sierra Leone's emerging ?crisis of youth?. Burgeoning pockets of unemployed young men now found scattered throughout the country, the mobilisation of whom proved instrumental in prolonging civil war in the 1990s, have fuelled fresh concerns about renewed violence. If supported, small-scale gold mining could provide immediate economic relief in the form of direct employment and downstream activities. Its promotion, however, is contingent upon a radical change in mindset in policymaking circles. Gold mining continues to be associated with diamond mining, an industry which perpetuated the country's civil war.
Hilson GM, McQuilken J (2016) Moving overseas? Critical reflections on the implementation of Latin American ethical gold schemes in Sub-Saharan Africa, In: Deonandan K (eds.), Mining in Latin America: Critical Approaches to the New Extraction 10 pp. 184-210 Routledge
In April 2013, it was announced that Fair Trade Labelling Organisations
International (FLO) and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM)1 were
not going to renew their working agreement. For nearly a decade, the former, a
Bonn-based umbrella body which coordinates the efforts of 20 national Fairtrade
bodies, was courted by the latter, a Colombia-headquartered NGO, to certify its
Standard Zero for Fair Trade Artisanal Gold and Associated Silver and Platinum, a
blueprint of ethical standards for small-scale gold mines.2 Following several revisions,
the FLO-endorsed Fairtrade and Fairmined Gold Standards emerged. They
were officially unveiled in March 2010 in London, where they were portrayed as
an intervention capable of connecting disempowered artisanal miners to Western
The work undertaken by ARM officials to bring the Fairtrade and Fairmined
Gold Standards to fruition has become a story of legend in mining and development
circles. Propelled by the initiative, drive and tireless efforts of a former
director, the organisation quickly mobilised a panel of experts in 2006.
As Echavarria (2008) explains, members of the ?technical committee? assembled
were then asked to review the key components ? ?subject areas? ? of the
initial draft of Standard Zero: health and safety, environmental management,
gender, child labour, sustainable livelihoods, governance, formalisation and
marketing. A second comprehensive review of Standard Zero took place in
early-2007 in Lima, Peru, where the technical committee collated feedback
from workshops, attended by a combined 300 participants, held across South
America and Africa. The revised Standard Zero that emerged followed the typical
Fairtrade grouping of social, labour, economic and environmental development
In a sector ? i.e., mining ? that has long been marred by exploitation,
destruction and social ills, the Fairtrade and Fairmined Gold
Standards provided a much-needed ?feel good? story. From the beginning, the blueprint
was skillfully marketed, at times overzealously, as a ?pro-poor? intervention. The message conveyed to the general public was that Fairtrade and Fairmined
Gold is being sourced from vulnerable people engaged in small-scale mining. As
reported by one widely-read magazine:
"For the first time, consumers now have the opportunity to buy jewellery
that is Fairtrade and Fairmined certified, and this is a hugely important
step for the industry. To achieve this guarantee, stan
Hilson GM, Carstens J (2009) Mining, Grievance and Conflict in Rural Tanzania, International Development Planning Review 31 (3) pp. 301-326 Liverpool University Press
Hilson GM (2008) How 'Lootable' is Alluvial Gold?,
Hilson GM (2010) Africa's 'Dual Gold Mining Economy': Antecedents, Issues and Implications,
Hilson GM (2011) 'A Conflict of Interest'? A Critical Examination of Artisanal/Large-scale Miner Relations in Sub-Saharan Africa, In: Botchway FN (eds.), Natural Resource Investment and Africa's Development Edward Elgar Publishing
Francis N. Botchway. PART III THE INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT OF AFRICAN RESOURCE EXPLOITATION 9 Evolution of international investment law and implications for Africa 293 Emmanuel Laryea 10 Commodity agreements and markets ...
Hilson GM (2003) The Socio-Economic Impacts of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Developing Countries, Taylor & Francis
The purpose of this book is to examine both the positive and negative socio economic impacts of artisanal and small-scale mining in developing countries.
Hilson GM, Okoh G (2011) Poverty and Livelihood Diversification: Exploring the Linkages Between Smallholder Farming and Artisanal Mining in Rural Ghana, Journal of International Development 23 (8) pp. 1100-1014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Hilson GM (2010) 'A Kimberley Protest': Diamond Mining, Export Sanctions and Poverty in Akwatia, Ghana, African Affairs 109 (436) pp. 431-450 Oxford Journals
Hilson GM (2010) Poverty, De-agrarianization and the Ris eof Small-Scale Mining in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa,
Hilson GM (2011) Child Labour Artisanal Mining in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Critical Overview,
Hilson GM, Banchirigah SM (2009) Are Alternate Livelihood Projects Alleviating Poverty in Mining Communities? Experiences from Ghana, Journal of Development Studies 45 (2) pp. 172-196 Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Hilson GM (2008) Livlihoods in Transition: De-agrarianization and the Rise of Artisanal Mining in Sub-Saharan Africa,
Hilson GM (2012) REDD+ and Mining in Guyana and Ghana,
Hilson G, Gatsinzi A (2014) A rocky road ahead? Critical reflections on the futures of small-scale mining in sub-Saharan Africa, FUTURES 62 pp. 1-9 ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Hilson GM (2008) Can the National Youth Employment Program Alleviate the Illegal Mining Problem in Ghana?,
Hilson GM, Laing T (2016) Guyana Gold: A Unique Resource Curse?,Journal of Development Studies Taylor and Francis
This article offers explanations for the underwhelming economic performance of Guyana, a country heavily dependent on the revenue generated from gold mining. Here, government intervention has spawned a gold mining sector which today is comprised exclusively of local small and medium-scale operators. But whilst this rather unique model appears to be the ideal blueprint for facilitating local development, the country seems to be experiencing many of the same setbacks that have beset scores of other resource-rich developing world economies. Unless these problems are anticipated, properly diagnosed and appropriately tackled, a resource curse-type outcome is inevitable, irrespective of the context.
Hilson GM (2011) 'Inherited Commitments': Do Changes in Ownership Affect Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at African Gold Mines?, African Journal of Business Management 5 (27) pp. 10921-10939
Hilson GM (2012) The Extractive Industries and Livlihood Changes in Developing Countries,
Hilson GM (2010) 'Once a Miner, Always a Miner': Poverty and Livelihood Diversification in Akwatia, Ghana, Journal of Rural Studies 26 (3) pp. 296-307 Elsevier
Hilson GM, Kamlongera P (2011) Poverty Alleviation in rural Malawi: Is There a Role for Artisanal Mining?, Journal of Eastern African Studies 5 (1) pp. 42-69 Taylor & Francis
Hilson GM (2008) Structural Adjustment, Rural Livlihood Diversification and the Rise of Illegal Artisanal Mining in Sub-Sharan Africa,
Hilson GM (2003) Environmental Management in the Small-Scale Mining Industry, Journal of Cleaner Production 11 (2)
Hilson G, Osei L (2014) Tackling youth unemployment in sub-Saharan Africa: Is there a role for artisanal and small-scale mining?, FUTURES 62 pp. 83-94 ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Hilson GM (2008) Is Alluvial Gold A 'Lootable' Resource,
Hilson G (2014) 'Constructing' Ethical Mineral Supply Chains in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Malawian Fair Trade Rubies, DEVELOPMENT AND CHANGE 45 (1) pp. 53-78 WILEY-BLACKWELL
Over the past decade, sales of Fair Trade agro-products have risen sharply, fuelled by innovative marketing campaigns that use imagery to ?connect? Western consumers to impoverished farmers in developing countries. The success of Fair Trade has led to speculation over whether its portfolio could be broadened to include non-agricultural products, a debate which, in recent years, has focused heavily on the precious minerals and stones being extracted by impoverished artisans. A lack of policy oversight, however, has resulted in Fair Trade being interpreted very differently in this context. In the absence of certified internationally-recognized guidelines to consult for assistance with the implementation of Fair Trade mineral schemes, designers have drawn inspiration from a global mining development agenda that has become heavily preoccupied with anti-corruption and traceability. This paper draws on the case of Malawi?s NyalaTM ruby, described as a ?Fair Trade Gem? by its supplier, to illustrate how ethical mineral programmes are potentially being misbranded as Fair Trade. Although the scheme delivering NyalaTM ruby to markets is supplying a traceable commodity, in the process helping to alleviate consumers? concerns about conflict minerals, it seems to be providing very little benefit to poor producers ? the primary objective of Fair Trade
Hilson GM (2010) Poverty Traps in Small Scale Mining Communities: Case Studies from West Africa,
Hilson GM (2006) Small-scale mining, rural subsistence and poverty in West Africa, Practical Action
An in-depth analysis of the small-scale mining sector in West Africa, this volume examines its link with poverty, economic contribution and the dynamics of its operations and dependent communities.
Hilson GM, Maconachie E (2009) Good Governance and the Extractive Industries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Review 30 (1) pp. 52-100 Taylor and Francis
Hilson GM (2012) The Role of Public Policy in Improving and Promoting ASM,
Hilson GM (2012) Corporate Social Responsibility in the Extrative Industries: Experiences from Developing Countries, Resources Policy 37 (1) pp. 131-260 Elsevier
Hilson Gavin, Hilson Abigail, Maconachie Roy, Mcquilken James, Goumandakoye Halima (2017) Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) in Sub-Saharan Africa: Re-conceptualizing Formalization and ?Illegal? Activity,Geoforum 83 pp. 80-90 Elsevier
This article contributes to the debate on the formalization of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) ? low-tech, labour-intensive mineral extraction and processing ? in developing countries. A unique sector populated by an eclectic group of individuals, ASM has expanded rapidly in all corners of the world in recent years. Most of its activities, however, are informal, scattered across lands which are not officially titled. But growing recognition of the sector's economic importance, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, has forced donors, and to some extent, policymakers, to ?rethink? development strategies for ASM. As part of broader moves to improve the regulation of, and occasionally intensify the delivery of assistance to, the sector, many are now searching frantically for fresh ideas on how to bring operations into the legal domain, where, it is believed, they can be regulated, monitored and supported more effectively. A challenging exercise, this entails first determining, with some degree of precision, why people choose to operate informally in this sector. Drawing on analysis from the literature and findings from research conducted in Ghana and Niger, it is argued that the legalist school (on informality) in part explains how governments across sub-Saharan Africa are ?creating? bureaucracies which are stifling the formalization of ASM activities in the region. A more nuanced development strategy grounded in local realities is needed if formalization is to have a transformative effect on the livelihoods of those engaged in ASM in the region and elsewhere in the developing world.
Hilson Gavin (2018) Why is there a Large-Scale Mining ?Bias? in Sub-Saharan Africa?,Land Use Policy Elsevier
This paper reflects critically on the state of mining sector-led development in sub-Saharan Africa. It argues that in most countries in the region, policies are ?biased? in favour of large-scale extraction. World Bank officials have long maintained that, in sub-Saharan Africa, the large-scale mines financed and operated by foreign multinationals could become ?growth poles? which stimulate marked economic development. For this to happen, however, radically different policy approaches will be needed ? changes which, up until now, the region?s governments have shown little interest in making.
Hilson Gavin, Laing T (2017) Gold Mining, Indigenous Land Claims and Conflict in Guyana?s Hinterland,Journal of Rural Studies 50 pp. 172-187 Elsevier
In recent decades, Guyana?s gold-rich interior has been the location of numerous, mostly low-latent, conflicts. In each case, groups of Afro and Indo-Guyanese originating from the country?s coastal cities and towns ? popularly referred to as ?Coast Landers? ? have clashed with indigenous Amerindians over control of remote parcels of land containing gold deposits. Each appears to have a valid argument in support of its position: the former contend that they are legally entitled to work these lands, having obtained the requisite permits from the central government to mine for gold, whilst the latter maintain that such decisions constitute a breach of their human rights, and draw attention to key legislation in support of their case. This article broadens understanding of the dynamics of these conflicts by reflecting more critically on the arguments presented by both parties. Drawing heavily on research conducted in Mahdia-Campbelltown, one location where frictions between Coast Lander mining groups and Amerindians are particularly serious, it is argued that these disputes are not about control of gold riches as is popularly believed but rather a product of deeply-rooted ethnic tensions between these parties.
Hilson GM, Hilson A, Mcquilken JT (2016) Ethical minerals: Fairer trade for whom?,Resources Policy 49 pp. 232-247 Elsevier
This paper offers preliminary reflections on the direction and impact of the emerging ?ethical minerals? agenda, focusing specifically on the case of sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past two decades, the mining industry in this region has experienced profound change, reshaped by large injections of foreign investment. During this period, host governments have redrafted fiscal policies in an attempt to attract multinational mining and exploration companies. These moves, however, have stifled the regularization of artisanal and small-scale mine operators, hundreds of thousands of whom have struggled to secure their own permits due to a lack of available land, the exorbitant costs of legalizing their activities, and excessively-bureaucratic registration processes. Ethical mineral schemes and standards, which seek to connect producers to consumers, have been championed as potential mechanisms for alleviating the hardships of these operators. But further analysis reveals that there is considerable discrepancy between the implied and at times, stated, aims and impacts of the interventions being piloted/implemented in the region on the one hand, and what is actually happening in practice on the other hand. The analysis serves as a stark reminder that the ethical mineral schemes and standards being piloted/implemented are not development interventions, as is often believed.
Hilson Gavin, Maconachie R (2017) Formalizing Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: Insights, Contestations and Clarifications,Area 49 (4) pp. 443-451 Wiley
In recent years, a number of academic analyses have emerged which reflect critically on why most artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) activities?low tech, labour-intensive, mineral extraction and processing? occur in informal ?spaces?. This body of scholarship, however, is heavily disconnected from work being carried out by policymakers and donors who, recognizing the growing economic importance of ASM in numerous rural sections of the developing world, are now working to identify ways in which to facilitate the formalization of its activities. It has rather drawn mostly on theories of informality that have been developed around radically different, and in many cases, incomparable, experiences, as well as largely redundant ideas, to contextualize phenomena in the sector. This paper reflects critically on the implications of this widening gulf, with the aim of facilitating a better alignment of scholarly debates on ASM?s informality with overarching policy/donor objectives. The divide must be reconciled if the case for formalizing ASM is to be strengthened, and policy is to be reformulated to reflect more accurately the many dimensions of the sector?s operations.
Hilson Gavin (2018) Mapping Small?scale Mineral Production Networks: The Case of Alluvial Diamonds in Ghana,Development and Change 49 (4) pp. 978-1009 Wiley
In recent years, donors and certain governments have committed to
formalizing and supporting artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)?lowtech,
labour-intensive mineral extraction and processing. Few, however,
are able to do so effectively because of a limited knowledge of how the
sector operates, who it employs and where the commodities it mines are
being channelled. This article argues that a radical re-conceptualization of
ASM will be needed if these challenges are to be overcome. As a starting
point, it calls on donors and policymakers to adopt the Global Production
Network (GPN) as a ?lens? for analyzing the sector?s organizational
structures. Popular in geography scholarship, the GPN, though rarely used
to study the intricacies of largely-informal sectors such as ASM, could
prove valuable here, aiding with the mapping of key production
processes. The GPN was applied to Ghana?s artisanal diamond mining
sector, research which yielded valuable insight about its organization, the
roles played by the different individuals who populate it, and the nature of
the relationships between these individuals. This information is a key to
designing more robust formalization and support strategies for ASM in the
country, and the exercise, overall, provides important lessons for other
governments working to achieve similar goals.
Hilson Gavin, Hilson A, Maconachie R (2017) Opportunity or necessity? Conceptualizing entrepreneurship at African small-scale mines,Technological Forecasting and Social Change 131 pp. 286-302 Elsevier
This article critically examines the policy environment in place for artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) ? low-tech, labour-intensive mineral extraction and processing ? in sub-Saharan Africa, with a view to determining whether there is adequate ?space? for the sector's operators to flourish as entrepreneurs. In recent years, there has been growing attention paid to ASM in the region, particularly as a vehicle for stimulating local economic development. The work being planned under the Africa Mining Vision (AMV), a comprehensive policy agenda adopted by African heads of state in February 2009, could have an enormous impact on this front. One of its core objectives is to pressure host governments into Boosting Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining by following a series of streamlined recommendations. It is concluded, however, that there is a disconnect between how entrepreneurship in ASM has been interpreted and projected by proponents of the AMV on the one hand, and the form it has mostly taken in practice on the other hand. This gulf must be rapidly bridged if ASM is to have a transformative impact, economically, in the region.
This paper reflects critically on recent actions taken by the Government of Ghana to eliminate unlicensed artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) ? popularly referred to as ?galamsey? ? in the country. At a time when donors and other governments in sub-Saharan Africa are working diligently to identify ways to formalize ASM and to integrate the sector into broader economic and rural development frameworks, the Government of Ghana has turned to its military and police to combat illegal activity, at times describing its efforts as a ?fight? and the phenomenon itself as ?a menace?. The decision of the government has come as a surprise, given that ASM accounts for more than 30 percent of the country's gold production, and employs close to one million people directly nationwide and generates millions of more jobs in the upstream and downstream industries it spawns.
Hilson Gavin, Zolnikov Tara Rava, Ramirez Ortiz Daisy, 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 Elsevier
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.
Maconachie Roy, Hilson Gavin (2018) ?The war whose bullets you don't see?: Diamond digging, resilience and Ebola in Sierra Leone,Journal of Rural Studies 61 pp. 110-122 Elsevier
This paper reflects critically on the transformational impacts the recent Ebola epidemic has had in diamond-rich areas of rural Sierra Leone. It focuses specifically on the country's ?diggers?, a sizable group of labourers who occupy the bottom of the country's artisanal diamond mine production pyramid. Based upon research conducted in the diamond-producing localities of Kenema and Kono, the paper argues how, in sharp contrast to the gloomy picture painted in the literature about their existences and struggles, diggers exhibited considerable resilience during the Ebola crisis. Their diversified livelihood portfolios proved to be effective survival strategies and buffers against the shocks and stresses brought about by lengthy periods of quarantine, and during times when mobility was restricted by the government in a bid to prevent the spreading of the disease. Drawing inspiration from the resilience literature, the paper captures the essence of these survival strategies, which should be viewed as latest reshuffling and expansion of diggers' rural livelihood portfolios. Policymakers and donors have yet to embrace fully these changes in a country where the Ebola recovery period promises to be lengthy and at a time when fresh, locally-informed rural development solutions are in short supply.
In rural sub-Saharan Africa, tens of millions of people engage in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), low-tech, labour-intensive mineral extraction and processing. Working in precarious conditions, these ? mostly-impoverished ? operators are deeply embedded at the base of global networks of production that supply significant quantities of the world?s minerals and construction materials, including upwards of 20 per cent of global gold and diamonds production each year. But constrained by mineral governance frameworks and an ?opportunity structure? that is found to prioritise the development of export-led large-scale mineral extraction and exploration activities, the vast majority of ASM operators find themselves entrenched in cycles of poverty that trap them in the informal economy. Here, their activities, while productive, have, due to a lack of regulation, become strongly associated with a range of deleterious social, health and environmental problems that have had detrimental impacts on rural communities. Significantly, these ?expressions? of the sector?s informality have provided a source of inspiration for the pioneering designers of ethical mineral certification schemes, which variously claim to facilitate transformational change by empowering the most marginalised ASM operators. The results thus far, however, are unimpressive: despite the fanfare surrounding their implementation, they are rather commonly associated with elite capture, target the ?low hanging fruit?, and have failed to reach ? and at times, even attempt to target ? the unlicensed miners that are entrenched in the shadow economy and who are in the greatest need of support. Further analysis reveals that the designers of ethical mineral schemes, and the NGOs, government bodies and industry organisations backing them, have a poor knowledge of the dynamics of the ASM sector, which has hampered their ability to pinpoint who, specifically, to target in the value chain and how to go about engaging them.

The purpose of this thesis, therefore, is to help bridge this gap by deepening understanding of the local level functioning of ASM activities, and the complex multi-layered networks of labour and production they are a part of, with a view toward facilitating the improved design of ethical mineral schemes and complementary support structures for the sector?s operators. It is this crucial information and level of detail that is needed to put organisations in a position to entice impoverished ASM operators to vacate the informal sector ?spaces? which they populate, as well as design ethical mineral schemes which are truly ?pro-poor?. To achieve this, the thesis adapts the Global Production Network (GPN) framework, embracing heavily its core underpinning themes of embeddedness, empowerment, and value, which constitute the pillars of the theoretical and conceptual framework adopted in this thesis. These frameworks are used as a lens to ?map? the complex networks found in a diamond-producing section and gold-producing area of Ghana, the location of one of the more dynamic and sizeable ASM economies in sub-Saharan Africa.

The thesis found and reconceptualised ASM activities to be deeply embedded within social production networks characterised by trust-based, reciprocal relationships of mutual cooperation and benefit. These social production networks are shaped by long histories of interaction with ?lead firms? which continue to influence the contemporary functioning of ASM activities. The thesis also found that in the absence of formal support services for the sector, the so-called ?unscrupulous middlemen? ? which architects of ethical mineral schemes aim to remove from supply chains and around whom they have managed to drum up significant public support ? do, in fact, provide invaluable services and are crucial to ASM?s functioning in informal ?spaces?. With this information and a detailed understanding of the various roles within the networks of supply, the way

Hilson Gavin, Hilson Abigail, Siwale Agatha, Maconachie Roy (2018) Female faces in informal ?spaces?: Women and artisanal and small-scale mining in sub-Saharan Africa,Africa Journal of Management 4 (3) pp. 306-346 Taylor & Francis
This paper critically examines how women employed in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)?low-tech mineral extraction and processing?in sub-Saharan Africa could be affected by moves made to formalize and support their activities under the Africa Mining Vision (AMV), ?Africa?s own response to tackling the paradox of great mineral wealth existing side by side with pervasive poverty?. One of the main goals of the AMV is Boosting Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining, which requires signatories to devise strategies for ?Harnessing the potential of small scale mining to improve rural livelihoods and integration into the rural and national economy?. Moves being made to achieve this, however, could have an adverse impact on many of the women working in ASM in sub-Saharan Africa. Findings from the literature and research being undertaken by the authors in Sierra Leone and Zambia suggest that whilst most women engaged in ASM in the region work informally and as a result, face very challenging circumstances daily, many have adapted to their surroundings and now generate far more money than they would earn from any other income-earning activity. Governments must study these dynamics before taking action under the auspices of the AMV to formalize and support women in ASM.
This doctoral thesis focuses on understanding how talented employees? psychological contract was formed and changed over the period of their employment. Organisations in the oil and gas sector rely heavily on cutting-edge technologies and human capital to optimise oil production. Hence, they are keen to attract and retain talented employees in order to sustain value creation and meet their organisational goals through the immediate and potential contribution of these talented employees. The psychological contract, on the other hand, reflects the quality of the employment relationship between the talented employees and their employer. It has a number of implications on employees? attitudes and behaviour including job satisfaction, turnover, and performance. Thirty-four semi-structured interviews were conducted with talented employees across the Exploration and Production Organisations and their subsidiaries in Oman. Data was thematically analysed using a modified version of the traditional thematic analysis. Three overarching themes were discovered as most relevant and important.

The findings suggest that the formation of the psychological contract is influenced by Talented Employees' Value Proposition and Identification Mechanism. The findings also suggest that talented employees reciprocate organisations' learning and development initiatives with loyalty and discretionary performance, which could substantially improve business performance. However, the findings also indicate that talented employees do not necessarily leave or stay with perceptions of psychological contract breach and fulfilment. These talent deals are dynamic and change over the course of their career according to the quality of reciprocation from their employer. Moreover, the deals of talented employees are also influenced by contextual factors, such as oil prices and social pressure, employer brands, and the identities of said employees. Talented employees were found to pay particular attention to their future employability prospects and hence turned to their employer for challenging and rewarding tasks and projects. These aspects were at the forefront of what formed and influenced the state of their psychological contract. Future research could be conducted on different contexts and sample groups in order to further understand the nature of reciprocity and mutuality with the psychological contract. Similarly, future research could benefit from the findings of this thesis in terms of designing surveys for a large sample size in order to understand the correlation between employer brand, talented employees' identity, and the dynamics of their psychological contract.

Hilson Gavin, Goumandakoye Halima, Diallo Penda (2019) Formalizing Artisanal Mining ?Spaces? in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Niger,Land Use Policy 80 pp. 259-268 Elsevier
This paper contributes to the debate on the dynamics and impact of informal artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) ? low-tech, labour-intensive mineral processing and extraction ? in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on the case of Niger. The analysis draws on findings from interviews carried out with government officials in Niger's capital, Niamey, and artisanal miners in two of the country?s major artisanal gold-producing localities, Komabangou and M?Banga. Since it has gone virtually unexamined in the literature, Niger provides fresh perspectives on ASM?s informality in sub-Saharan Africa, a discussion which is rapidly gathering momentum in the region?s donor and development dialogues. Most of the moves taken to date to formalize and support ASM in the country have focused on the technical and financial aspects of the sector?s activities: emphasis has been placed on controlling the activity ad hoc, rather than proactively engaging and supporting operators.
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rate of child labour in the world. An estimated one third of the region?s boys and girls aged 5-17 are believed to be ?economically active?. These staggering figures have led to an international crusade to eliminate child labour globally, focusing on hazardous work because there is shared consensus among policymakers that it is a violation of human rights and a major impediment to human capital accumulation and therefore, stands in the way of sustainable economic growth in countries where it is found.

One country in the region where this problem is particularly visible, and which has been heavily scrutinised by the ILO and implementation partners in particular for having high concentrations of what is referred to in the donor lexicon as Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL) is Ghana. A major focus of these assessments is artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), low-tech, labour-intensive mineral extraction and processing which, throughout Ghana and most other areas in sub-Saharan Africa, is mostly poverty-driven, providing employment to otherwise incomeless families. The campaign spearheaded by the ILO under the auspices of the WFCL agenda to eliminate child labour from ASM in Ghana and the wider sub-region builds a case around how young boys and girls carry out arduous work and are generally being exploited at sites.

Recent research, however, has revealed that the child labour ?problem? in Ghana and rural sub-Saharan Africa more broadly is far more nuanced than has been diagnosed by donors. The ASM sector is no exception: research undertaken over the past decade has shown that the growth of its activities linked to a wider de-agrarianisation process ? specifically the movement of rural families into the nonfarm economy, in response to the inability of agriculture to sustain, fully, their economic needs ? to which the child labour ?problem? diagnosed is inextricably linked. Specifically, the ASM sector, being the region?s most important rural nonfarm activity, has become a popular ?off farm? destination for hundreds of thousands of families and other jobless masses. This movement has naturally contributed to the increased ?presence? of children at artisanal mines, where, contrary to the position of donors, work undertaken rarely extends beyond tasks similar to those carried out on family farms. The case of Ghana, the location of one of the largest and more dynamic ASM economies in sub-Saharan Africa, illustrates this very clearly.

The aim of this thesis is to build on these observations by engaging more critically with the main debates on child labour with a view to articulating more comprehensively why children are pursuing ?hazardous? work in ASM camps across the region. It does this by analysing key policy documents, conducting observations and semi-structured interviews with policymakers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community leaders, educators, parents and children. Together, these sources of information broach a rich range of issues for analysis and allow for the exploration and construction of broader discourses in connection with the main themes and theories of this research study.

This thesis provides a more comprehensive picture of the child labour phenomenon in rural sub-Saharan Africa. Findings suggest that many of the so-called ?exploited? children in ASM are engaging in what ILO officials themselves would consider light work akin to the chores countless young African girls and boys perform on family farms; that children?s earnings are being used to alleviate the economic hardships of their households but that work is generally taking place outside of school hours and during school vacations; and that for some children, the sole motivation for working at mines is to generate sufficient money to pay for school fees.
Overall, the research study informs debates on child labour, education and family hardship

Hilson Abigail, Hilson Gavin, Dauda Suleman (2019) Corporate Social Responsibility at African mines: Linking the past to the present,Journal of Environmental Management 241 pp. 340-352 Elsevier
This paper traces the origins of the 'brand' of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) employed at large-scale mines across sub-Saharan Africa. Conceived within fortified resource enclaves, the policies adopted and actions taken in the area of CSR at many of the region's large-scale mines today have had had minimal effect on community wellbeing. Further examination reveals that contemporary CSR strategy in the region's mining sector is often a 'repackaging' and 'rebranding' of moves made by major operators during the colonial period and early years of country independence to pacify and engage local communities. Today, this work is being championed as CSR but failing to deliver much change, its impact minimized by the economic and political forces at work in an era of globalization, during which extractive industry enclaves that are disconnected from local economies have been able to flourish. As case study of Ghana, long one of the largest gold mining economies in sub-Saharan Africa, is used to illustrate these points.
How are decisions in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arrived at in the mining sector, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, the poorest area of the globe and where corruption is rampant? To date, the literature on mining and development in sub-Saharan Africa has mostly analysed individual interventions made in the name of CSR and critiqued the case for embracing it. These assessments, however, very crucially overlook exploration, an essential phase of the mine lifecycle, during which inaugural dialogues are initiated with local communities that ultimately have a bearing on CSR strategy over the long term. The mining sector is a mergers and acquisitions industry, and in the developing world, the initial exploration phase typically sees numerous companies arrive to work a concession over a specified ? and at times, lengthy ? a period of time in locations that are often impoverished and ruled by unaccountable and corrupt governments. Each of these companies has its own management philosophy and strategy which ultimately shape dialogues and engagement with communities long before a mining commits to production. It is how the actions that occur during the exploration phase affect CSR outcomes which have gone virtually unexamined in the literature, a gap which this thesis seeks to bridge using a case study of Ghana, the location one of the largest and most dynamic mining economies in sub-Saharan Africa.

Through an interdisciplinary approach, the thesis examines the dynamics of community development and engagement at the initial exploration phase of mining projects, surveys local communities? perspectives on the subject, and assesses how the actions of international mineral exploration companies influence CSR outcomes at the production phase. It does so using a series of qualitative research methods, including semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with policymakers, NGO officers, mining and exploration company officials, and inhabitants of and leaders in mining communities, supplemented with field observations and content analysis of policy briefs, industry reports and company sustainability reports.

The findings suggest that mining and mineral exploration companies do not communicate their CSR strategies to their host communities very effectively. While mineral exploration and mining companies use CSR as a platform to showcase their commitments to social and environmental standards, they have made little efforts to understand the socio-cultural, economic and political dynamics of their host communities. This, coupled with their over-dependence on CSR frameworks and standards designed mostly around Western cognitions, have limited the impact of mineral exploration and mining companies? social and environmental programmes. A critical examination of the exploration phase of mineral development projects in Ghana also reveals that host communities are not afforded the opportunity to provide inputs into decisions on how CSR should be operationalised. Further analysis revealed that host governments in mineral-rich sections of sub-Saharan Africa are more fixated on securing mineral rents than with getting companies to honour their commitments. This has allowed companies, particularly those exploring for minerals, to decide on the type of projects implemented in the name of CSR, without truly engaging with communities.

The thesis makes significant contributions to knowledge in a number of ways. First, it introduces the lifecycle (temporal) dimension into the mining-CSR research and demonstrates in detail how the factors highlighted in the literature as underpinning CSR, apply in different settings. It also nuances further the mining-CSR discourse by demonstrating very clearly how events at one phase of the lifecycle (e.g. exploration) can influence developments at another phase (e.g. production). The research seeks to facilitate a ?rethinking? of how social and environmental programmes implemented

Hilson Gavin, Sauerwein Titus, Owen John (2020) Large and artisanal scale mine development: The case for autonomous co-existence,World Development Elsevier
Hilson Gavin, Hu Yanfei, Kumah Cynthia (2020) Locating Female ?Voices? in the Minamata Convention on Mercury in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Ghana,Environmental Science and Policy 107 pp. 123-136 Elsevier
Countries that have ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury, a United Nations-backed international treaty designed to protect human health and the environment from releases of mercury and mercury compounds, are required to produce a National Action Plan (NAP). Each must state, very clearly, how the mercury being used at artisanal and small-scale gold mines will be phased out. In most areas of sub-Saharan Africa, however, devising a comprehensive NAP promises to be an enormous and indeed, challenging, undertaking. Here, the institutional capacity and resources, expertise and at times, commitment needed to capture the level of detail the Minamata Secretariat expects to be included in each NAP are woefully lacking. One of the more challenging tasks ahead, given the shortage of hard data available on the sector?s populations, production and activities, promises to be the design and implementation of appropriate educational, communication and support-related strategies for the ?vulnerable populations? who rely on work at artisanal and small-scale gold mines for their incomes. This is especially significant for women, who, despite accounting for at least 50 percent of the region?s artisanal and small-gold mine workforce, mostly carry out the manual work at the lower tiers of the sector?s labour hierarchies. Taking stock of this largely ?invisible? work and the circumstances driving individuals to pursue employment in this sector in the first place, this paper reflects critically on the challenges with reducing women?s exposure to mercury at artisanal and small-scale gold mines in sub-Saharan Africa. It draws on findings from ongoing research in Ghana, the location of one of the largest and most dynamic artisanal and small-scale gold mining sectors in the region.
This paper explains how formalizing and supporting artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) ? low-tech, labor-intensive mineral processing and extraction ? would help governments in sub-Saharan Africa meet several targets linked the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While most of the men and women found working in ASM in the region choose to operate without the requisite permits and are rarely monitored or regulated, the local impacts of their activities are significant. After examining the long historical trajectory that has relegated most ASM activities in sub-Saharan Africa to the informal economy, three of the sector?s more obvious economic impacts are reviewed: its contribution to regional mineral outputs; how operations create employment opportunities for millions of people directly, and millions more in the downstream and upstream industries they spawn; and the links the sector has with subsistence agriculture, dynamics which have important implications for food security and gender equality. These contributions alone are sufficient justification for featuring ASM more prominently in the plans, policies and programs being launched in sub-Saharan Africa to help host governments meet their commitments to the SDGs.
Hilson Gavin (2014) ?Constructing? Ethical Mineral Supply Chains in
Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Malawian Fair
Trade Rubies
Development and Change 45 (1) pp. 53-78 John Wiley
Over the past decade, sales of Fair Trade agro-products have risen sharply, fuelled by innovative marketing campaigns that use imagery to ?connect? Western consumers to impoverished farmers in developing countries. The success of Fair Trade has led to speculation over whether its portfolio could be broadened to include non-agricultural products, a debate which, in recent years, has focused heavily on the precious minerals and stones being extracted by impoverished artisans. A lack of policy oversight, however, has resulted in Fair Trade being interpreted very differently in this context. In the absence of certified internationally-recognized guidelines to consult for assistance with the implementation of Fair Trade mineral schemes, designers have drawn inspiration from a global mining development agenda that has become heavily preoccupied with anti-corruption and traceability. This paper draws on the case of Malawi?s NyalaTM ruby, described as a ?Fair Trade Gem? by its supplier, to illustrate how ethical mineral programmes are potentially being misbranded as Fair Trade. Although the scheme delivering NyalaTM ruby to markets is supplying a traceable commodity, in the process helping to alleviate consumers? concerns about conflict minerals, it seems to be providing very little benefit to poor producers ? the primary objective of Fair Trade
This article reflects critically on the impacts of the recent ban on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) ? low-tech, labour-intensive mineral extraction and processing ? in Ghana. Government officials claimed that a ban was necessary because the country?s ASM activities, most of which are found in the informal economy, pose a serious threat to local waterbodies and that security forces were needed for its enforcement. It is argued here, however, that projecting the ban and associated military intervention as actions taken specifically to protect the environment has helped the government escape scrutiny over its choice of strategy to combat illegal mining. Perhaps more importantly, it has masked what may be the real reasons behind these moves: 1) to help the government regain control of the purchasing side of an ASM sector that is now heavily populated and influenced by foreigners; and 2) to put it in an improved position to demarcate parcels of land to the multinational mineral exploration and mining companies that supply it with significant quantities of revenue in the form of taxes, royalties and permit fees.
This paper contributes to the debate on the link between poverty and artisanal and small?scale mining (ASM) ? low?tech, labour?intensive mineral extraction and processing ? in sub?Saharan Africa. It specifically seeks to advance discussion on the idea that throughout the region, the sector?s operators are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty. Drawing upon ongoing research being conducted on marginalized women engaged in ASM in Ghana, an attempt is made to further nuance the ?poverty trap?ASM? narrative. In the context of sub?Saharan Africa, debates on this issue should focus on the challenges faced by marginalized groups such as women, in particular how their growing dependence upon monies earned from the sector for their livelihoods has increased their vulnerability.
This paper outlines a framework for facilitating the formalization of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) ? low-tech, labour-intensive mineral processing and extraction ? in sub-Saharan Africa. It identifies taxation as a potential driver for formalization across the region because the financial gains would appeal to host governments on the one hand, and, on the other hand, it would energize ASM operators, most of whom are desperate to work in a more structured and regulated environment. Experiences from Zambia, where attempts have been made in recent years to control and regulate pockets of surging gold rush activity, are drawn upon to debate the case for making taxation more of a centrepiece of ASM formalization programs in sub-Saharan Africa.
Hilson Gavin, Maconachie Roy (2020) Entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa's artisanal and small-scale mining sector: Developments and trajectories,Journal of Rural Studies 78 pp. 149-162 Elsevier
This paper explores how artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) ? low-tech, labour-intensive mineral processing and extraction ? has evolved in sub-Saharan Africa in recent decades. The analysis focuses specifically on the types of entrepreneurs who pursue work at, and innovation that occurs in, the region's ASM sites, using ideas debated heavily in the management literature, as well as complementary theories and concepts from other disciplines, including development studies, anthropology and human geography. Drawing on findings from ongoing research in Sierra Leone and Liberia, the locations of two of the largest and most complex ASM economies in sub-Saharan Africa, it is argued that legal and policy frameworks implemented for the sector are not aligned with the needs and capabilities of operators, and have therefore impeded efforts to formalize activities. In both countries, these frameworks have created and subsequently galvanized the boundary between two very different ?worlds?: on the one hand, that of a burgeoning semi-formal artisanal group with limited capacity to mechanize, and on the other hand, that of a small number of individuals who have managed to overcome crippling financial barriers to secure titles to mine using more advanced technology.