An environmental study of artisanal, small, and medium by Gary McMahon

By Gary McMahon

"Mining exploration funding within the Latin American and Caribbean quarter has elevated a hundred thirty percentage within the final 5 years, a determine which raises to 500 percentage, if Chile is excluded." Governments have remodeled mining laws to let inner most funding whereas turning into extra delicate to environmental components. In gentle of this laws, this document examines the environmental results of artisanal, small, and medium mines in 3 Latin American international locations: Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. 4 of crucial components to be thought of are: • The age of the mine • administration of tailings • The heterogeneity of the artisanal and small mine sectors • The expanding have to take cultural concerns into consideration within the determination making strategy. The paper comprises result of the reviews at the numerous mining sectors, process and coverage innovations, and state research summaries.

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Extra resources for An environmental study of artisanal, small, and medium mining in Bolivia, Chile, and Peru, Volumes 23-429

Sample text

Nevertheless, since 1994 the growth of the employment in the small mining sector has stopped. This can be explained by the growth, albeit modest, of the economy as a whole and the depletion of their reserves, especially old tailings. The traditional cooperatives consist mainly of old COMIBOL workers, their families, and seasonal migrants, mostly indigenous peasants of the nearby communities. The number of workers in each cooperative is large and variable; there are cooperatives of hundreds or thousands of workers.

When the mine is not viable, the focus should be on poverty alleviation, not mining. Clear property rights should be established for artisanal and small miners. Inefficient and environmentally unsound techniques are often directly the result of inadequate property rights. Under specific circumstances the environmental effects of artisanal and small mines could be remedied without jeopardizing the profitability of the enterprises. Innovation and adaptation should be encouraged in such cases. Research programs (which could be partially funded by donors) have a critical role to play in the development and dissemination of economically profitable and environmentally sound mining practices.

In six countries of the LAC regionBolivia, Chile, Guyana, Jamaica, Peru, and Surinammining accounts for between 5 and 50 percent of GDP and over 25 percent of export revenues. It is also a significant, albeit relatively smaller activity, in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. 1 The political side of the story has been centered on revamping legislation, especially mining codes, to make the sector more attractive for private and foreign investment and more sensitive to the environment. These two trends are not contradictory as the importation of state-of-the-art foreign technology is seen as one of the main methods of improving the environmental performance of the sector.

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