ASM Global Data


Global Number of People
Working in ASM

Top 10 ASM Countries by Number of People Working in ASM

Region Country Year Reported # Working in ASM
South Asia India 2008 12,000,000
East Asia & Pacific China 2002 9,000,000
Sub-Saharan Africa Democratic Republic of Congo 2008 2,000,000
Sub-Saharan Africa Tanzania 2008 1,500,000
Sub-Saharan Africa Ghana 2011 1,100,000
Sub-Saharan Africa Sudan 2015 1,000,000
Latin America & Caribbean Brazil 2014 861,000
Sub-Saharan Africa Madagascar 2016 600,000
South Asia Pakistan 2014 515,000
East Asia & Pacific Philippines 2015 500,000

Global ASM Employment

Estimates of the number of individuals engaged in ASM worldwide began in 1993 with the United Nations and has been revised by numerous global studies that demonstrate the incredible growth of the sector as an alternative livelihood option for millions globally. In addition some studies have estimated the number of people dependent on ASM activity: 80-100 million people in 1999 (ILO 1999), 60-150 million people in 2013 (IIED 2013)

Data Source: United Nations 1993, ILO 1999, European Commission 2012, IIED 2013, IGF 2018

Global Production Value of Gold from ASM

Gold global production value citing six annual production reports from 1990 to 2017. This graph shows the data from publicly available reports that sought to quantify global estimates of ASM gold production over the past 30 years. For perspective the world's largest gold mining company, Barrick Gold Corp, reported a total revenue of $8.77 billion in 2016.

Data Source: ILO 1999, UNIDO 2004, European Commission 2012 (high), Telmer 2009, Seccatore 2014, IGF 2018

Production value calculated using LBMA average gold price for respective years in instances where product weight was reported.

Distribution of Data Sources by Publication Year

Distribution of unique data sources by publication year in the Delve database. This graph counts the number of unique data sources within the Delve database that provide unique quantitative data on employment for the ASM sector per publication year. The increase in data sources produced from 2001-2004 can be attributed to the initiation of the "Communities and Small-scale Mining" (CASM) initiative as well as the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development Project (MMSD) funded by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and implemented by International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).


The data presented in this beta site is a sample and should be used for demonstration purposes only. All data, countries and minerals are not yet represented, and will be included in the full launch of the platform coming Summer 2019.

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