Estrela Antonio

Matondo Estrela Garcia Cardoso

Postgraduate Research Student


My research project


Research interests


MATONDO ESTRELA ANTONIO, GAVIN MICHAEL HILSON (2022)Cooperatives as a Centrepiece for Formalizing Small-Scale Mining in Sub-Saharan Africa: Rationale, Benefits and Limitations, In: N Yakovleva, Edmund Nickless (eds.), Routledge Handbook of the Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development Routledge

This chapter reflects critically on the impacts of moves made to date in sub-Saharan Africa to encourage people engaged in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) – low-tech, labour-intensive mineral extraction and processing – to form cooperatives. Whilst the pressures applied by host governments, international NGOs and industry bodies on the region’s ASM operators to organize themselves have been purposeful, pursued with a view to establishing more visible, monitorable structures at sites (points of production), compliance with newly-introduced standards and guidelines for cooperatives has proved burdensome for most. The moves made have complicated further what are already costly and bureaucratic procedures that prospective licensees must follow to formalize their activities. Most have targeted gold, diamonds, coloured gemstones and the 3Ts (tin, tungsten and tantalum), for which stringent criteria around responsible sourcing and transparency are now enshrined in a host of regulations and codes of practice across the OECD. The view here is that in sub-Saharan Africa, individuals engaged in ASM should be encouraged to form cooperatives but that such a strategy is best suited for ‘development minerals’, for which there is considerable local demand and established markets. Prioritizing ‘development minerals’ in this work would go a long way toward rewriting an ASM cooperative narrative in sub-Saharan Africa which is ineffective and no longer inspires.