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Research Report

The impacts of artisanal gold mining on local livelihoods and the environment in the forested areas of Cameroon

Kevin N. Funoh
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2014
Pages: 54
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-1)

    Artisanal mining broadly refers to mining by individuals, groups, families or cooperatives with minimal mechanization, often in the informal sector of the market (Hentschel et al. 2002). Artisanal gold mining is carried out in developing countries of Africa, Oceania and Central and South America. According to Hentschel et al. (2002), globally the number of people estimated to be involved in this activity is 80–100 million people. Africa produces more than 60 metal and mineral products and is a major producer of several of the world’s most important minerals and metals, including gold. Although underexplored, Africa hosts about 30% of...

  2. (pp. 2-6)

    This study was carried out in the Ngoyla-Mintom forest massif (NMFM). The Ngoyla-Mintom forest massif is located in the south and east regions of Cameroon. The massif is made up of nine forest management units (FMUs). It gets its name from the two subdivisions it covers, which are the Mintom subdivision in the south region and Ngoyla in the east region. The Ngoyla-Mintom forest massif is situated between latitudes 2°10 N and 3°00 N and longitudes 13°20 E and 14°35 E. The massif is limited to the north and the west by the Dja Biosphere Reserve, to the south by...

  3. (pp. 7-10)

    Mining has been practiced in Cameroon since before independence. Gold, rutile and tin have been mined here since the early 1900s. Artisanal gold mining started in 1933 with the production of about 20 metric ton or tonne (t) between 1934 and 1984, or an average annual production of 1500 kg (Mbendi 2009). According to Laplaine (1969), investors ran an unsuccessful mechanized production of gold operation in Cameroon between 1948 and 1955. Tin was mined from 1933 to 1968 in the Adamawa region at Mayo Darlé, with a total production of 6500 t. Rutile was mined between 1935 and 1955 in...

  4. (pp. 11-27)

    The mining population in NMFM has increased tremendously within the last four years to an estimated 1000 people. In 2011, the Gabonese Government evicted all miners who were operating illegally in the Minkebe forest area. A large number of Cameroonians were working there, as well as people from different African countries. Most of these people took refuge in the Ngoyla-Mintom forest massif and other localities in the eastern region of the country where artisanal mining is being practiced, thereby increasing the population of miners here.

    The study was carried out during the rainy season, which is a period less favorable...

  5. (pp. 28-28)

    The results of this study on the impacts of artisanal gold mining on local livelihoods and the environment in the NMFM revealed that 84% of miners surveyed were of Cameroonian nationality and 16% were from other African countries. The mining population in NMFM is continuously increasing, with more people coming from different regions and countries to mine. Mining attracts more youths, with 75% of miners aged between 15 and 35 years.

    Mining is a lucrative activity. Miners earn relatively high incomes in shorter time periods compared to any other activity in the region. The standards of living of miners has...