Artisinal Mining in Tanzania: An Example of Sustainability?

By Edelgard Mahant and Parkash Mahant.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Tanzania’s Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Industry presents extra-ordinary challenges for the researcher who wishes to promote equitable and sustainable development. The miners and their families are subject to health hazards from their occupation, and their activities sometimes also poison the larger community’s water supply. On the other hand, the ecological footprint of these
miners, ton for ton of gold or gem stones, may be less than that of the large companies which have entered the field. This remains to be determined. Sustainability includes a living wage for members of the community. Artisan miners earn more than local farmers, and work in the large scale companies
is available to only a few. The activities of the large companies may also not be sustainable because Tanzania’s supply of gold and gemstones will run out in 25 years or so if they are mined intensively. This paper attempts to suggest a solution to some of these issues by applying a simplified version of
the Sustainable Community Indicator Checklist to the Tanzanian Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Industry and so helps to determine the sustainability (or otherwise) of that industry.

Keywords: Artisanal Mining, Tanzania, Sustainability

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.161-188. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.068MB).

Prof. Edelgard Mahant

Professor, Political ad Administrative Studies, University of Botswana, Gaborone

Visiting Professor at the University of Botswana; Professor Emeritus at York University, Toronto. Research interests include comparative regional integration, foreign policy analysis and comparative government.

Parkash Mahant

Consultant on Environment and Energy, Toronto, Canada

Parkash Mahant’s professional experience includes 16 years with Falconbridge Nickel in Canada, mostly working on environmental aspects of nickel process metallurgy, and 15years with the Ontario Ministries of Energy and Environment, where he served as a Senior Technical Advisor managing energy efficiency and environmental projects for the industrial sector. He also spent four years in the UK with the then Ministry of Technology.

He holds a B.A.Sc. from the University of British Columbia and an M.A.Sc.from Queens University in Canada. Recently he obtained a post-MBA diploma in Sustainability from York University in Toronto. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and of the Professional Engineers of Ontario. His technical papers on process metallurgy have been published in the CIM Bulletin; his energy and environment guides for a number of industrial sectors were published by the Queen’s Printer, Ontario.
He and his wife Edelgard live in Toronto, Ontario.


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