Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) is a complex and diversified sector across much of the developing world. It ranges from informal individual miners seeking a subsistence livelihood to small-scale formal commercial mining entities producing minerals in a responsible way. For many countries, ASM is both an important source of livelihoods and of environmental damage.
There is a pressing need to enhance the quality of life of those miners working outside of formal legal and economic systems, and to enhance the contribution of the sector to sustainable development.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS GUIDANCE DOCUMENT?
This guidance document presents a step-by-step process for governments on how to develop, implement and monitor an effective ASM Management Strategy. The guidance includes steps on how to ensure effective, inclusive strategy development and implementation, as well as effective governance of the process overall.
WHO IS IT FOR?
The guidance is designed for the governments of developing countries where ASM takes place. It is relevant for governments at a variety of levels, including national, subnational and local.
HOW DO YOU USE IT?
The guidance is divided into three phases:
- Getting started
- Developing an ASM Management Strategy
- Implementing the ASM Management Strategy
WHO DEVELOPED THE GUIDANCE?
RCS Global and the IGF developed the IGF Guidance for Governments: Managing Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM), with input from stakeholders during multiple global consultations in 2015 and 2016.
WHY WAS IT DEVELOPED?
In order to expand on the direction provided by the IGF’s Mining Policy Framework (MPF), IGF member states identified the need for more concrete guidance on managing key issues relating to mining and sustainable development. In response, the IGF Secretariat will develop, on an annual basis, guidance documents that build on and enhance the direction provided in the MPF in order to assist member countries in their implementation of the framework. IGF Guidance for Governments: Managing Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) is the first report in this series.
PHASE 1: GETTING STARTED
To ensure the efficient and effective development and implementation of a national ASM Management Strategy.
1.1 FORM AN ASM TASK FORCE
The first step in the process is for the government to establish an internal champion to drive the development process for the ASM Management Strategy. This ASM task force is made up of representatives from those government ministries, agencies and departments that are relevant to the management of the ASM sector, including mining, land, finance, environment, planning, water and labour. The task force will lead and coordinate the government’s ASM Management Strategy, and the government must ensure that it has the resources, capacities and political support required to do so.
1.2 ESTABLISH A FORUM FOR CONSULTING WITH ASM STAKEHOLDERS
A substantive and ongoing consultation process involving all affected stakeholder groups will be central to developing and implementing a legitimate, high-quality strategy for managing ASM. These consultations give relevant stakeholders the opportunity to discuss, challenge and inform government policies and decisions on ASM. As such, the ASM task force should work to establish a forum for dialogue, ensuring that it is inclusive, transparent, gender balanced, conflict-sensitive, and that it meets regularly and concretely informs policy and practice.
1.3 ANALYZE THE ASM CONTEXT
In order to develop an effective strategy for managing ASM, the government must fully understand the context in which that strategy will be developed and implemented. The research that informs this context analysis should include:
- An overview of the national ASM sector, including its scale, location, economics, techniques and impacts
- An assessment of existing and needed government capacities to manage ASM
- A map of the supply chain
- A political economy analysis
1.4 ENGAGE WITH PARTNERS
The government should also reach out to potential national and international partners and experts that may have relevant experience in ASM management, and who might be able to help design, finance, implement and monitor the ASM Management Strategy. These include bilateral donors and development partners, private sector actors, financial entities, downstream companies and neighbouring states.
The activities conducted during this phase of the process include:
- Establishing a team to conduct the work
- Carrying out desk-based research
- Identifying and mapping key stakeholders
- Reaching out to potential partners
- An ASM task force
- An ASM context analysis
- A platform, plan and process for stakeholder dialogue on ASM
PHASE 2: DEVELOPING AN ASM MANAGEMENT STRATEGY
To develop an ASM vision and Management Strategy that addresses the negative impacts and enhances the positive impacts of all types of ASM in the country.
2.1 DEVELOP AN ASM VISION
The first part of developing an ASM Management Strategy is establishing a vision for the ASM sector that supports sustainable development and local livelihoods. Developing this vision requires that the government establish those ASM issues of greatest significance to the country; articulate the goals that should be pursued in its ASM Management Strategy; identify ASM techniques practiced in the country; and categorize these techniques as unacceptable, poor and good. This will help the government establish a vision that imagines what the national ASM sector should look like in the future.
2.2 ORGANIZE THE ASM SECTOR INTO TYPES AND PRIORITIZE
With an ASM vision established, the government should then look at the domestic ASM sector and decide if and how it can be divided into types of operations to reflect the variety of operations captured by the term “ASM” (i.e., by commodity; by degree of mechanization; by scale; whether alluvial or hard rock). This will ensure the development of ASM strategies that respond to the particular needs and challenges of different ASM techniques and stakeholder groups, rather than trying to impose one strategy on a heterogeneous sector. Once identified, these subcategories of ASM should be prioritized based on the degree to which the government can expect to address, reduce or enhance the net impacts of the ASM type. In turn, the government will have to develop an ASM Management Strategy for each of these types of ASM, with each strategy comprised of an economics approach, to explore the economic potential of the ASM sector, and an approach to address the impacts of ASM through improved practices.
2.3 DEVELOP AN ASM MANAGEMENT STRATEGY
Developing an ASM Management Strategy requires choosing the instruments and initiatives that will help the ASM sector reach its economic potential, and that will mitigate the negative and enhance the positive impacts of each type of ASM operation. To develop an economics approach for each type of ASM operation, a government chooses the instruments and initiatives (i.e., the programs it will undertake, promote or facilitate) to help the ASM sector reach its economic potential. Key decisions for developing this approach will include deciding whether to:
- Allocate land to ASM
- Facilitate and encourage participation in supply chain initiatives
- Provide services and technical assistance to ASM operations and workers
The government must also choose the instruments and initiatives that it will employ to mitigate the negative and maximize the positive impacts of each type of ASM operation. This could include licensing and regulating to protect against poor practices; promoting good practices through education, demonstration and forms of assistance; or a combination of both. This approach will help the sector move away from those unacceptable and poor ASM practices identified during the development of the ASM vision, and toward good practices that protect the environment, human rights and local livelihoods.
2.4 FINALIZE THE ASM MANAGEMENT STRATEGY
To finalize the government’s ASM Management Strategy, the strategies for all types of ASM operations must be consolidated and checked for coherence; it is possible that in the development of strategies to address all types of ASM, inconsistencies may have emerged that should be addressed. This includes ensuring that various ASM operators get the right kinds of licenses for their work, and that transboundary concerns are integrated into the ASM Management Strategy.
Phase 2 activities include stakeholder workshops and strategy development.
- ASM vision
- ASM Management Strategy (by type and overall)
PHASE 3: IMPLEMENTING THE ASM MANAGEMENT STRATEGY
Putting the ASM Management Strategy into practice, and ensuring its success through effective monitoring and evaluation.
3.1 PREPARE TO IMPLEMENT
In order to put the ASM Management Strategy into practice, the government must first develop an implementation plan. This plan should clearly lay out which departments are responsible for implementing which parts of the plan, and the time frame and budget for achieving each task. This could require capacity building for the implementation team prior to implementation, as well as a possible revision of the legal framework governing the ASM sector.
In addition, the government will have to design procedures and systems for registering ASM licence-holders and conduct outreach efforts to raise public awareness. The government could consider running pilot programs to ensure that problems are identified and addressed prior to full implementation. If ASM zones are called for, these should be established during this preparation phase.
Putting the ASM Management Strategy into practice could require the implementing entity to: establish a state-sponsored buying scheme for the minerals coming out of ASM production; encourage participation in supply chain initiatives; run education and training programs; license, regulate, monitor and enforce; conduct economic resettlement if required; model procedures for forcibly closing down ASM operations; provide transportation, water, sanitation and health infrastructure; provide geological data or expertise; assist with access to credit or insurance; provide electricity and related infrastructure; provide education to workers and their children; ensure security; provide technical expertise and provide or subsidize the sale of equipment; subsidize inputs into mining and processing; and sponsor clean processing plants and demonstration plants.
3.3 MONITORING, EVALUATION AND IMPROVEMENT
Given the number of different stakeholders involved in the implementation of the ASM Management Strategy, effective monitoring of the plan is crucial. The ASM task force should be responsible for developing and implementing a monitoring and evaluation plan, and for periodically reviewing the plan and revising it if needed.
The activities undertaken in Phase 3 include:
- Stakeholder consultations
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Implementation plan
- Monitoring and evaluation plan