Abbi Buxton's blog posts
Not enough has been heard from local voices in the mining sector over the last 10 years. In the next year, this needs to change.
Almost 15 to 20 per cent of the world's gold is produced informally by artisanal and small scale miners (ASM), along with 80 per cent of its sapphires and up to 20 per cent of all diamonds.
ASM includes the criminal and the opportunistic, the warlord and the gang leader, the child, the woman, the man, the marginalised, exploited and subsistence. The sector has capital and skills, and extreme poverty and vulnerability — leading to deep social problems. This complexity makes it extremely hard for governments to regulate or 'formalise'.
Abbi Buxton reports on efforts to overcome distrust and conflict between artisanal and large-scale mining operations, through an international project that will bring the two sides together to seek sustainable ways to coexist.
What are the barriers to engaging small-scale producers and low-income consumers, and how can private sector interventions be improved to reach the poorest?
New deals between flower-growers in Kenya and big retailers such as Walmart offer African farmers a chance to expand.
When stakeholders at IIED's Fair Ideas conference in Rio discussed how the mining industry has fared in meeting the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development initiative (MMSD) agenda set 10 years ago, the challenge of implementation kept cropping up.
A new IIED report into making mining sustainable finds major improvements, as well as areas of concern.
Ten years ago, the mining industry, in collaboration with IIED, set out to explore how it could maximise its contribution to sustainable development through the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (MMSD) project. So, what has happened since then? A new report looks at progress and the issues still to be tackled.
A global initiative requiring public reporting of revenues from extractive industries could go further.
The world's first Fairtrade and Fairmined gold is being launched in the UK. The scheme aims to help formalise the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector. But is formalisation the best way forward?
Bringing together small-scale miners and globalised mining operations could help to find solutions for many of the ills affecting artisanal miners worldwide.