Participating in cooperatives is an effective way to dissipate risks, gain access to legalized channels of technical, educational and marketing support, and benefit from collective knowledge and social capital. In general, there are two types of cooperatives: 1) small groups of miners who share a license to mine on the same concession; and 2) member organizations who work to improve economic conditions for miners. By pooling money for legal fees and advocacy through cooperatives, miners can move closer to overcoming the challenges of planning and operating safer, profitable and sustainable operations.
Support and available funding for mine projects to improve technology, environmental management and/or miner health and safety conditions is often difficult to find. By reaching out to civic organizations on the local scale, contacting environmental NGOs for assistance, and actively trying to improve the societal image of mining, miners can help to shape and advance the development agenda with regards to artisanal and small-scale mining. The last decade has seen the formation of a variety of organizations focused on building bridges between policy and funding institutions and community-oriented, bottom-up projects to improve the lives of miners and reduce mining-related poverty. Contacting these organizations for assistance in conceptualizing and proposing useful projects is a good way to get something started, and a list of contact information with links to relevant websites is available below.
The authors of this site are trying to collect information about specific case studies and technological components that can be of use to artisanal gemstone miners in preventing sedimentation, protecting forests and wildlife in mining areas, recycling water, minimizing wastes and reclaiming land after mining is finished; please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have information to share on these topics.
Association for Responsible Mining (ARM)
Communities and Small-Scale Mining (CASM)
Institute for Sustainable Mining (artminers.org)
World Learning for International Development
Regional Organizations and Resource Centers:
South America: Cooperaccion, Peru
Africa: Southern and Eastern Africa Minerals Information Center (SEAMIC), Tanzania
Consulting Agencies and Companies:
Mintek, South Africa
Wardell Armstrong, United Kingdom
Practical Action Consulting, United Kingdom