Ban mining, ban dining? Re(examining) the policy and practice of ‘militarised conservationism’ on ASM operations

Ofosu, George and Siaw, Daniel and Sarpong, David and Danquah, Stephen (2024) Ban mining, ban dining? Re(examining) the policy and practice of ‘militarised conservationism’ on ASM operations. The Extractive Industries and Society, 17. p. 101432. ISSN 2214-790X

1-s2.0-S2214790X24000303-main.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (709kB)


The artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) frontier continues to advance in most mineral-endowed countries due to rising unemployment and general economic decline particularly in rural communities. The sector, however, is often viewed in a negative light because it is highly environmentally destructive. In seeking to address the environmental challenges, many governments have, on occasion, actioned military strategies aimed at presenting facets of ‘sanitisation’ to a highly informal industry that has historically been tagged as an enemy of the environment. This study examines such ‘mining vs. environment’ discourses that have resulted in military crackdowns on ASM operations in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Overall, the findings bust the ‘myth’ of the appropriateness of military interventions regarding ASM operations. Offering insights into the livelihood dimensions of ASM operations, we submit that our understanding of mining-ban failures can be assisted by an understanding of the broader geographical, socio-economic, technological, and institutional antecedents that combine to allow illegal mining operations to proliferate.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
11 February 2024Accepted
16 February 2024Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Artisanal and small-scale mining, Environmental governance, Militarisation, Livelihoods
Subjects: CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-01 - business and management (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > Birmingham City Business School
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2024 13:26
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2024 13:26

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


In this section...