The Impact of Covid-19 on artisanal mining in Western Central African Republic

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To assess the socio-economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector in Western Central African Republic (CAR), IPIS conducted a series of phone surveys with key informants located on 260 gold and diamond mining sites.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been particularly harsh on the artisanal mining sector in Western CAR, emphasizing existing trends since the 2013 crisis and the disruption of pre-financing networks in the diamond sector. Although it seems that gold prices undergo a progressive recovery, diamond prices remain low and an increasing number of workers may turn to the more attractive gold mining sector

IPIS surveyors conducted a series of phone interviews targeting key informants to collect knowledge on mineral production, prices and illegal taxation. In addition to collecting quantitative estimates, surveyors used open-ended questions allowing the respondents to detail their observations on the ground (i.e. qualitative data). Phone surveys were conducted in May 2020 (on a total of 105 ASM sites), July 2020 (on a total of 175 ASM sites) and October 2020 (on a total of 260 ASM sites) in Nana-Mambéré, Mambéré-Kadei, Ouham-Pende, Ombella-Mpoko, Lobaye, Ouham Sangha-Mbaéré.

This Insight report provides information on a subset of 95 artisanal mining sites that were surveyed both in May 2020 and in October 2020. The information gathered over the phone was then compared with baseline information on the same 95 mining sites from field visits in 2019.

This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of IPIS and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.