Title
'Who seeks, finds' : how artisanal miners and traders benefit from gold in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
Author
Faculty/Department
Institute of Development Policy and Management
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Politics
Law
Source (journal)
European journal of development research. - London, 1989, currens
Volume/pages
25(2013) :2 , p. 197-212
ISSN
0957-8811
1743-9728
ISI
000316991600002
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
In a context of intensifying struggles to secure access to mineral resources, governments systematically endorse large-scale mining. In many regions, though, artisanal mining is a very important livelihood, from which different groups of people derive benefits. Understanding the micro-functioning of this sector, and thus understanding how people gain access to mineral resources, is a primary task for development actors. This article seeks to describe and analyse empirically how people benefit from artisanal mining and trade and which institutions and power relations shape their ability to benefit. Using the gold mines in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo as a case study, the article demonstrates that artisanal miners and traders not only face constraints but also seize opportunities through forum shopping, personal relations and 'informal' norms. It also shows how people use 'access mechanisms' to secure access to the gold and to mitigate the uncertainties created by the particular institutional context.
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