Artisanal gold mining’s impact on local livelihoods and the mining industry in Ivory Coast

Date03 January 2017
Publication Date03 January 2017
AuthorKouame Joseph Arthur Kouame,Fuxing Jiang,Zhu Sitao
SubjectPublic policy & environmental management,Environmental technology & innovation
Artisanal gold minings impact
on local livelihoods and the
mining industry in Ivory Coast
Kouame Joseph Arthur Kouame, Fuxing Jiang and Zhu Sitao
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering,
University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, China
Purpose In rural regions,mining is an activity that employsmany people due to the fact that the barriersto
entry are sometimes trivial, with very low technology, capital fund, and no specialized skills required. Many
people includingchildren are engagedin artisanal mining in Ivory Coastbecause they can earn higherincomes
in mining thanthrough other traditional activitiessuch as agriculture, whichis 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 theirlives everyday as they are exposedto unsanitary conditions, prostitution, chemicalcontaminants,
and alcoholism, andalso 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 andExcel 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 authors 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
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
1.1 Definition
Many potential mining deposits have been discovered in the country such as in Bonikro,
Hire, and Abgovia. These cities are in the central part of Ivory Coast, around 300 kms from
the economic capital (Abidjan). More than three licenses had been obtained by Newcrest the
third largest world mining company for exploration and exploitation of the mineral
resources in this area. The main intention of this mining company is committing a campaign
of exploration in the country in order to discover major mineral resources especially gold.
Artisanal miningis an activity that consists of an adequate use of tools to extract
mineral resources, generally with a good market. (Hentschel et al., 2002; Banchirigah and
Hilson, 2010) Artisanal mining is a real and ongoing situation in Ivory Coast but at the same
World Journal of Science,
Technology and Sustainable
Vol. 14 No. 1, 2017
pp. 18-28
© Emerald PublishingLimited
DOI 10.1108/WJSTSD-09-2016-0056
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
The authors acknowledge the Supervisor, Professor Jiang Fuxing, whose encouragement, guidance,
and support from the initial to the final level enabled to develop an understanding of the subject.
The authors also acknowledge ASSOUMOU Kouame Marius (Service Chief at Ministry of Mines and
Industry Ivory Coast), SODEMI, local people from Boore (Dimbokro), miners in Ivory Coast and to all of
those who supported the authors in any respect during the study of this project.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT