The mining sector in Burundi is comprised almost entirely of ASM activities. However, exploration by large-scale firms has been underway for several years, particularly for nickel and deposits of high-grade rare earth elements. Compared to neighboring countries such as DRC and Rwanda, Burundi's ASM sector is relatively small with employment estimates ranging between 7,600-10,000 in the 3Ts and 14,000-27,000 in gold. While these metals are the main focus of activities, ASM operators also exploit development minerals such as peat, and sands for cement production.

Key Minerals Mined by ASM

3T Mineral (Mixed) • Cassiterite • Coltan • Gold • Wolframite

Burundi ASM Employment

The literature notes that ASM employment estimates are challenging to verify in Burundi due to seasonality and movement of workers from various sites as well as the limited research to date. Further evaluation and field research is needed to properly estimate the sector's actual employment. The 91,000 employment estimate appears as an outlier based on a model for mercury use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining.

Data Source: ILO 1999, USGS 2010, Midende 2010, Seccatore 2014, IPIS 2015 & ICGLR 2015 citing Midende 2014 (low), , World Bank 2016

USGS 2010: Cites figure of 7,600 from Midende 2010 taken from Figure 2 (pg. 51)
Midende 2010: Citing figure of 10,000 on pg. 51
Seccatore 2014: Estimate represents artisanal and small-scale gold mining employment based on model using gold production to estimate ASGM employment
IPIS 2015 & ICGLR 2015 cite Midende 2014 for employment value of 20,000 artisanal mine workers. IPIS 2015 goes on to note that likely half of the 20,000 ASMs are mining construction materials and likely 10,000 are digging for minerals (3T and Gold). Delve was unable to obtain Midende 2014 to confirm reference: Midende 2014 reference: Midende G., Exploitations minières artisanales du Burundi sur la période 2009-­2013: Rapport détaillé en appui à l’étude de faisabilité pour la pré-­‐candidature de l’ITIE, World Bank: Washington, 2014.
World Bank 2016: Stated estimate in report is 34,000 made from addition of 6,000-7,000 ASMs in 3T, and 14,000-27,000 ASGMs. Range of 20,000-34,000 provided.

Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) Employment

The data suggests that the ASM of gold has grown significantly from 4,000 miners to as many as 26,000 over the past decade. This could be due to new mining codes being introduced in 2013 and a gradual opening up of the sector in recent years. However, as noted, estimates of employment in ASM are challenging to verify and further evaluation and field research is needed to properly establish reliable employment figures.

Data Source: Midende 2010, Seccatore 2014, IPIS 2015 citing Midende 2014, World Bank 2016

Midende 2010: Cites figure of 4,000 from Figure 2 (pg. 51)
IPIS 2015: Cites Midende 2014 who estimated that two thirds of 10,000 artisanal miners are digging for gold
World Bank 2016: Median provided by Delve based on stated range in report (14,000-27,000)

Burundi Gold Mining Export (MT)

Burundian gold exports (tonnes/year) from 2001 to 2014 combining three data sources. IPIS 2015 cites Midende 2010 estimate that Burundian gold production capacity is 0.5 tonnes/year with the export difference representing ASM gold from the DRC.

Data Source: CASM Midende 2009, IPIS 2015, Seccatore 2014


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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