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Mapping ASM sites in the Central African Republic: Official Presentation in Bangui

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In January 2020, IPIS presented the results of its diagnostic report and mapping of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sites and gold supply-chains in western Central African Republic (CAR) to national authorities and civil society organizations during a three-days’ workshop in Bangui. The objectives of the mapping exercise are to support the CAR Ministry of Mines and Geology (MMG) and other key stakeholders in the sector, such as the Permanent Secretariat of the Kimberley Process in the Central African Republic (SPPK-RCA), to restore the state’s control over national minerals production and its commercialization chain.

Between April and July 2019, five teams of researchers, composed of both members of CAR civil society organizations and focal points from the SPPK-RCA, visited seven prefectures in the west of the country. They collected information on socio-economic conditions of artisanal miners on 322 mining sites. Of these, 201 are exclusively gold mines, 61 are exclusively diamond mines and 60 are both gold and diamond mines.

The results of this field research were compiled in a report, a database and an interactive webmap which were presented for the first time in Bangui to high-level representatives of the State mining services for feedback. Some of the main indicators collected include average and total number of workers, type of licenses, occurrences of conflict, type and frequency of child labor, production statistics, estimation of revenue of miners, main destination of minerals, presence and frequency of state services and presence and frequency of armed groups in the mining sites visited.

The presentation and feedback sessions were followed by a discussion on the next steps and important recommendations for the development of conflict-free and responsible supply chains for artisanal gold in CAR. The main recommendations developed by participants addressed the need for adapting and popularizing mining regulations to the artisanal sector, fighting against illicit trade of minerals, strengthening formalization efforts, in particular towards women, reducing environmental impact and supporting the role of civil society organizations in the mining sector.

The database and all the data collected was shared with mining services and IPIS report on mapping artisanal mining sites in western CAR will soon be made publicly available.

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