Compendium on best practices in small-scale mining in Africa
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa;
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There are currently no universal definitions of artisanal or small-scale mining. The lack of consensus, as echoed by several researchers, e.g., Priester et al., 1993; Taupitz et al., 1993 and others, is due to the fact that such a definition varies from country to country. Several attempts to arrive at a widely accepted definition of small-scale mining have been made, based on criteria ranging from investment costs, labour requirements, ore production rates, and size of concessions, amount of reserves, annual sales or any combination of these. Some countries have more than one definition for small-scale mining. This is because a wide range of parameters is used to provide a definition for these activities, and it is also an attempt to differentiate between artisanal and small-scale mining proper. The United Nations uses the volume of material mined to establish the boundary between small- and large-scale mining.