The development opportunity that is artisanal mining

After smallholder agriculture, artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) is the second biggest employer in the developing world, directly employing over 40 million diggers and mine workers in the prospecting, production and processing of gold, coloured gemstones, diamonds, tin and cobalt.

Given its inherent wealth, mining is a development opportunity for some of the world’s poorest communities. Yet 80% of artisanal miners struggle to make a living and are forced to survive on the edges of society.

the asm cycle of poverty

This cycle is not inevitable. Artisanal and small-scale mining is a core economic activity for rural mining communities and has the potential to become a legitimate driver of sustainable development.

To enable a better life for mining communities, we need to build viable small enterprises and businesses that endure beyond short-term donations and grants. 

A strategic approach to breaking the poverty cycle

Based on years of in-the-field experience, the Impact Facility’s approach is designed to meet the needs of artisanal mining communities. 

We help provide access to much-needed financial support, capacity building expertise and equipment and ethical routes to market. Along with improving practices at the mine sites these are practical solutions can boost productivity, increase profitability and enhance quality of life, breaking the cycle of poverty in artisanal and small-scale mining.

Access to capital and equipment

Access to capacity development

Access to ethical markets

“Mining is critical for our increasing demand of raw materials. Millions of people rely on small-scale mining for their daily income and livelihood. We need to develop long-term solutions to ensure these miners work under human conditions or can transition to other more sustainable livelihoods. The Impact Facility is a much needed innovative mechanism to catalyse this development of small-scale mining communities.”
- Laura Gerritsen, head of value chain, Fairphone