The low technology, labor-intensive sector known as artisanal and small-scale mining, or ASM, provides a critical livelihood for millions of people around the globe. Artisanal miners produce a large portion of the world’s minerals and gemstones and endure difficult, hazardous conditions.
But there is so much more to the story. That’s why we’ve built DELVE, a global online data platform on ASM.
Governments, NGOs, businesses and others all are working to improve the lives of artisanal miners, to make their work safer and more sustainable, and to formalize the sector so it can play an even bigger role in global development. But to date, these efforts have largely been based on inaccurate and incomplete data. While various stakeholders possess information, it is rarely shared or aggregated.
This lack of data is undermining the ASM sector, obscuring its contribution to development, and perpetuating a narrative that says ASM is dirty, chaotic and inherently bad for the environment and developing communities. We believe better data will reveal a different picture and lead to better decision-making, policies and interventions.