Technologies & transformation in Congo’s artisanal and small-scale gold mines (ASGM)

Sara Geenen

In 2021, we embarked on a collaborative research (part of an FWO-EOS) on technologies and transformation in the eastern DRC’s artisanal and small-scale gold mines (ASGM). In the past decade, a rapid transformation has taken place in these gold mines where we now find air compressors, ball mills, dredges, water pumps and cyanidation plants. With a team of 14 researchers we have interviewed more than 600 workers in the region’s three largest ASGM mines: Kamituga, Misisi and Shabunda. The data have fed into seven different research articles, focusing on labour relations, productivity, taxation, assembly, responsible production techniques, gender and health. The articles make up a special issue on technologies, techniques and transformation in ASGM, touching upon a broad spectrum of social, cultural, political, and economic issues. In this presentation we will selectively present some of the results, and also devote sufficient attention to the process of this collaborative research.

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