Abstract for: Sustainable Development in the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Industry: An Organizational Level Perspective

Several researchers and civil society groups working in the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) industry acknowledge the complexity of this economic activity. ASM is described by some as a poverty-driven, economically irrational, and disorganized activity characterised by complex organizational models. Limited progress from several decades of research and civil society interventions in ASM confirms this complexity and hence warrants adoption of a systems thinking approach. In this study we examine possibilities for ASM sustainability using systems science. We use interview data and archival data to model the organizational level system of ASM. Leverage points at the organizational level appear as access to capital, access to technology and education and skills development. Enhanced access to capital enables exploration which can lengthen mine life hance more localised activity. Localised activity results in less spread of negative environmental and social impacts. Successful implementation of appropriate policies further involves several field and societal level factors.