Artisanal gold mining’s impact on local livelihoods and the mining industry in Ivory Coast, Kouame Kouame, Fuxing Jiang and Zhu Sitao
Purpose: In rural regions, mining is an activity that employs many people due to the fact that the barriers to entry are sometimes trivial, with very low technology, capital fund, and no specialized skills required. Many people including children are engaged in artisanal mining in Ivory Coast because they can earn higher incomes in mining than through other traditional activities such as agriculture, which is the main activity in the country. Artisanal mining contributes to reduce abject poverty prevalent in the country and it offers many others opportunities. However, this activity has many negative social impacts. Local people including miners are risking their lives everyday as they are exposed to unsanitary conditions, prostitution, chemical contaminants, and alcoholism, and also due to the large degradation of lands. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
Design/methodology/approach: All the data collected during this study were analyzed before some of it was corrected. For data analysis and interpretation, the authors used Word and Excel and other software, and other statistical tools for maps, graphs, and tables.
Findings: The main objective of this paper is to understand how artisanal gold mining in the Ivory Coast affects local livelihoods and the environment.
Research limitations/implications: This study was carried out during the author’s study in China. The data collection between the two countries was too difficult due to the long distance. Many times the network was not reliable for any call and discuss with miners when we are not in the country. The hesitation of miners to give real information to the authors was also a main problem because most of them are illegal miners. Some of the guided questionnaires stayed without feedback for almost three months. The production was sold on a day-to-day basis by the miners in the illegal mining sites, so the authors could not obtain with precision the monthly and annual production to calculate income of the miners.
Originality/value: Some key recommendations for addressing artisanal mining activities in order to have a good option for sustainable management of mineral resources in the country are proposed.
Keywords: Environments; Artisanal mining; Ivory Coast; Mining industry.
Citation: Kouame, K.J.A., Jiang, F. and Sitao, Z. (2017), "Artisanal gold mining’s impact on local livelihoods and the mining industry in Ivory Coast", World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 18-28. https://doi.org/10.1108/WJSTSD-09-2016-0056