Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Gold in Ghana

Research on the process of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in West-Africa

Jan Jansen

We have a strong fascination for people involved in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) – low-tech, labor-intensive mineral extraction and processing. We are particularly interested in how people in West African Sahelian communities use it to build resilience and how they integrate it into wider livelihood strategies through the year. We have published on gold mining in Burkina Faso, Surinam, and Canada (Luning) and Mali (Jansen) as well as former French West Africa (Luning & Jansen). In the past decade, we have supervised about a dozen MSc researchers based on fieldwork in mining communities in South-Western Mali, Northern Ghana, and Central Ghana.

Mining communities are vibrant places with populations that are well aware of bigger political and environmental issues in which their practices are involved. Although they are criticised by governments and companies as being illegal and dangerous, we have established over the years a safe and interesting network of contacts with mining communities in Ghana that we would like to share with students whose supervisor we would like to be.

In 2022-2023 available as supervisor: Jan Jansen.

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