Small-Scale Mining

Chapter 4.5: Small-Scale Mining: Cleaner Production Fact Sheet and Resource Guide

Other Internet and Print Resources

NOTE: Listing of a resource does not constitute USAID endorsement or certificationReferences and Resources

Resources and References


  • Developments in Small-Scale Mining (1996). Committee on Natural Resources, Report of the Secretary-General, United Nations.
  • Jennings, Norman S. ed. Small-Scale Gold Mining: Examples from Bolivia, Philippines and Zimbabwe. Industrial Activities Branch Working Paper, International Labour Organization (ILO). document is a case study of three pilot projects in small-scale mining. A practical example of problems and solutions in mining activities; it includes a section on lessons learned as well as examples and diagrams of alternative amalgamation machinery.
  • “Mercury.” The Pollution Prevention Abatement Handbook (1998).World Bank. good explanation of the hazardous characteristics of mercury and the different health impacts of mercury exposure.
  • Social and Labour Issues in Small-Scale Mines. Report for discussion at the Tripartite Meeting on Social and Labour Issues in Small-Scale Mines, in Geneva, 17-21 May 1999. International Labour Organization (ILO). excellent discussion of health issues associated with small-scale mining. Attention is paid to solutions to occupational health and safety issues, including reducing mercury use and decreasing the incidence of silicosis.
  • “Surface Mining.” In Environmental Handbook: Documentation on Monitoring and Evaluating Environmental Impacts, Vol. 2.German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (GTZ). short discussion of two different methods of surface mining-wet and dry extraction-and the environmental impacts associated with them. Contains information more relevant to medium than small mining operations.


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Other Resources


  • Acquah, Peter Claver. Natural Resources Management and Sustainable Development: The Case of the Gold Sector in Ghana (1996). Ghana: Environmental Protection Council. United Nations Conference on Trade Development. case study of natural resource management and sustainable development in the gold mining sector of Ghana. This document sets out the main environmental and socioeconomic impacts of gold mining, including water pollution, land degradation and effects on coastal and marine resources.
  • Chemicals Management: DAC Guidelines on Aid and Environment (1993). The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). document targets aid agencies and the need for chemical management programs. It briefly discusses the dangers of certain chemicals, including mercury, and the capacities required for adequate chemicals management.
  • Maponga, Oliver and Anderson Mutemererwa (1995). Management of Natural Resources and the Environment in Zimbabwe: The Case of Gold. University of Zimbabwe, The Institute of Mining Research. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. case study of natural resources management and sustainable development in the gold sector of Zimbabwe. A description of the main environmental impacts from gold mining is followed by a discussion of economic development and legislation.
  • McDivitt, James F. (1990). Small-Scale Mining: A Guide to Appropriate Equipment. Intermediate Technology Publishing. guide to available equipment on all aspects of small-scale mining, from prospecting and surveying through haulage, handling and transport. It includes a discussion of safety equipment. The book features world-wide coverage, with particular relevance to the developing world, and costs around US $28.
  • McMahon, Gary, Jose Luis Evia, Alberto Pasco-Font and Jose Miguel Sanchez (1999). An Environmental Study of Artisanal, Small, and Medium Mining in Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. World Bank Technical Paper.
    /PDF/multi_page.pdf.This paper synthesizes a study examining the environmental performance of artisanal, small, and medium mining in Bolivia, Chile and Peru. Includes summaries of the three country studies. Significant emphasis is placed on the viability of artisanal, small, and medium mines if environmental costs are taken into account, as well as policy actions to improve the environmental performance of viable mines.
  • Priester, M., T. Hentschel and B. Benthin (1993). Tools for Mining. GTZ: Information and Advisory Service on Appropriate Technology, 537 p. handbook serves as an information source for technicians, engineers and advisors associated with small-scale mining in developing countries. In the part of the handbook devoted to techniques, special attention is paid to
    1. ensuring local production in developing countries,
    2. offering environmentally friendly technologies and
    3. taking into account the social and cultural conditions of the miners when selecting the techniques.
  • Regularizing Informal Mining: A Summary of the Proceedings of the International Roundtable on Artisanal Mining (1996). Roundtable organized by the World Bank, Washington, D.C. May 17-19, 1995. World Bank Industry and Energy Department Occasional Paper No. 6. general discussion of the challenges associated with small-scale mining activities that often occur outside the reach of environmental or financial regulation.
  • Zamora, Armando (2000). “Small Scale Mining: A Social and Environmental Problem Turned into an Opportunity for Economic Development.” Internet Journal of the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy, Vol. 6-6. article discusses the economic development implications of small-scale mining in developing countries and possible sustainable and legal solutions to the industry’s social and environmental problems.