In a context of gold price boom, the rapid development of Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASgM) raises several challenges for local communities, as well as local and national governments. At the same time that it could provide economic opportunities for local communities, it could also lead to issues related to health, the environment, and social cohesion.
With mines being largely informal, tax revenue for local and national authorities becomes a challenge. Appropriate regulations might be necessary to transform these activities into an opportunity for all stakeholders. Responsible mining might therefore be a solution to promote sustainable economic growth in Liberia, but several conditions need to be met to reach this goal. This project aims at providing cutting-edge academic research to Liberian policymakers that will help design appropriate regulations.
The pilot project will provide a detailed overview of mining activities in the Gbarpolu County. Based on data collected on the field, we will draft a first report describing mining activities and its main socio-economic challenges. The extensive quantitative material will be used to conduct research along four lines: the environment (water quality and deforestation), health, agriculture (agricultural productivity and land rights) and institutions.