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All the gold for nothing? Impacts of mining on rural livelihoods in Northern Burkina Faso

Benno Pokorny, Christian von Lübke, Sidzabda Djibril Dayamba and Helga Dickow

World Development, 2019, vol. 119, issue C, 23-39

Abstract: While existing resource extraction debates have contributed to a better understanding of national economic and political dilemmas and institutional responses, there are flaws in understanding the specific relevance of the various types of mining schemes for rural households to deal with the various problems they are confronted with. Our paper examines the perceptions of gold mining effects on households in Northern Burkina Faso. The findings of our survey across six districts representing different mining schemes (industrial, artisanal, no mining) highlight the fact that artisanal gold mining can generate job opportunities and cash income for local households; whereas industrial gold mining widely fails to do so. However, the general economic and environmental settings exert a much stronger influence on the household state. Gold mining effects are perceived as being less advantageous in districts where people are suffering from a lack of education, a higher vulnerability to drought and poor market access. Our findings provide empirical support for those who back the enhanced formalization of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) and policies that entail more rigorous state monitoring of mining concessions, especially in economic and environmentally disadvantaged contexts. Effectively addressing communal and pro-poor development requires greater attention to the political economy of ASM and corporate mining. It also calls for a greater inclusion of local mining stakeholders and a more effective alignment of international regulatory and advocacy efforts.

Keywords: Gold mining; Artisanal mining; Burkina Faso; Local livelihoods; Rural development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.03.003

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