Artisanal and small scale mining (ASM) is a complex and widespread challenge facing the entire gold mining industry. It is estimated that ASM provides livelihoods for as many as 100 million people worldwide. However, it is unregulated and associated with negative health, safety, human rights and environmental impacts for local communities, including child labour and water and land contamination from dangerous reagents such cyanide and mercury in local rivers and ground water.
Illegal ASM was present on three of our mine complexes in 2017: the Loulo- Gounkoto complex in Mali, the Tongon mine in Côte d’Ivoire and our Kibali mine in the DRC.
As recommended by both IFC guidelines and International Council on Mining and Metals guidance, Randgold’s approach to illegal ASM within our permits and host communities is one of no conflicts and no invasions. Instead, we seek to work in partnership with host communities, NGOs and host governments to develop mutually beneficial long term strategies to reduce or eliminate ASM. A key tenet of our approach is to offer alternative livelihoods to ASM participants either on our mines or in new economic activities such as agriculture.