Disputes and dispossession of property rights in the mining sector are causes of injustice, violence, and forced resettlement around the world. This comprehensive volume examines mining, particularly what is often called ‘Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining’, from a perspective of governance and rights. It focuses on rights to land, natural resources, and other forms of material ‘property’. Many projects, policies, and laws targeting artisanal and small-scale mining are embedded in problematic conceptual and institutional frameworks that implicitly stigmatise and discipline artisanal and small-scale miners. This collection takes a critical look at notions of property to destabilise some of these frameworks.
The chapters in this book are notable for their recognition of the agency of artisanal miners and ‘local communities’ within the uneven hierarchies in which they are embedded, and their acknowledgement of the difficulties of state regulation of such a complex set of issues. The authors use a variety of theoretical tools, engaging with political economy, political ecology, classical economic theory, and socio-cultural concepts derived from ethnographic methods.
This book includes insightful case studies from Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mongolia, South Africa, and Zambia, and is an important resource for academics, development practitioners, and policy-makers. It was originally published online as a special issue of Third World Thematics.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM): critical approaches to property rights and governance
2. Revisiting the interconnections between research strategies and policy proposals: reflections from the artisanal and small-scale mining sector in Africa
3. The politics of artisanal and small-scale mining in Mongolia
4. Property rights and large-scale mining: overlapping claims at and around mining sites at the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia
5. ‘Custom’ and fractured ‘community’: mining, property disputes and law on the platinum belt, South Africa
6. Disputes over gold mining and dispossession of local afrodescendant communities from the Alto Cauca, Colombia
7. Different faces of access control in a Congolese gold mine
Sara Geenen & Klara Claessens
8. Artisanal gold mining in Kejetia (Tongo, Northern Ghana): a three-dimensional perspective
Esther van de Camp
Chris Huggins is Assistant Professor in the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa, Canada. His research focuses on the political economy of natural resource management in Africa. He is author of Agricultural Reform in Rwanda: Authoritarianism, Markets and Zones of Governance (2017).