The state of artisanal mining in Myanmar
Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in Myanmar provides a livelihood for a minimum of 500,000 ASM workers who are directly employed in the sector, and this economic activity supports an estimated 3-5 million people. In 2018, with funding from the Trafigura Foundation, Pact conducted a study of ASM in Myanmar to investigate conditions and challenges in the sector, and to determine opportunities to support development in the sector. This included inquiry into the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM), which is widespread in Myanmar, in order to determine how Pact could support safer mining practices in the ASGM subsector. The study was undertaken using multiple quantitative and qualitative research methods including field visits (to Homalin Township in Sagaing Region), key informant interviews, focus group discussions, a livelihood survey, and thorough desk-based literature review.
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