Danish-led project to improve the occupational situation for the ASM
The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) is leading a new EU-financed project to improve the profits and the working conditions in the ASM in several African countries. The work includes training of the miners and staff in the relevant authorities to improve the working methods and the possibilities for profits to create a more sustainable industry as regards economy, health and the environment.
So far, cooperation with seven African countries has been established: Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. Besides the training programme, the project will also prepare an easy-to-read, well-illustrated handbook on small-scale mining giving the miners advice on how to increase their profits and improve their living conditions. The topics of the handbook include geological know-how helping the miners to dig in the right places and in the right way, descriptions of how to better secure the mining shafts and how to handle chemicals. Other topics are information about business operations and knowledge about their markets.
"The number of ASM miners is increasing steadily in Africa, since in many areas, it is the only possibility for an income and an alternative to unemployment or emigration", says John Tychsen, director of development projects at GEUS, who is in charge of the ASM project.
"The miners need training, so they can get better working conditions and increase their possibilities for profits. Many of them have worked really hard to dig out the minerals, but in the end they are cheated out of a reasonable profit, because they don't know what the true value of their products is", he concludes.
The ASM project is part of the large cooperation project PanAfGeo, in which geologists from 12 European geological surveys will train colleagues from the 54 geological surveys in the African countries in several geoscientific topics. In the ASM project, GEUS will be assisted by African experts. PanAfGeo is supported financially by the EU and is part of the European aid programme for the African Union. The ASM project is also supported by means from Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) financed by Global Affairs Canada.