World Bank and Pact launch first ‘state of the sector’ report for artisanal and small-scale mining

April 24, 2019
  • Over 40 million people globally work in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)
  • 10 million people living in 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa are directly engaged in ASM
  • Accurate, reliable data on artisanal and small-scale mining is an essential first step to understanding the sector, recognizing miners and formalizing their work

At the OECD Forum, The World Bank and Pact will launch the 2019 State of the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Sector, a first-of-its-kind report exploring the origins and impact of the ‘global data gap’ on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), and outlining how the gap can be narrowed to formalize this global sector. Drawing from online database Delve, the report finds that at least 40 million people work in ASM globally. ASM is the most important rural non-farm activity in the developing world, but for too long the sector has remained in the shadows. Complete, accurate and reliable data is an essential first step to better understanding the sector: recognizing the importance of miners and formalizing their work.

The 2019 State of the ASM Sector report identifies ways to improve data collection methodologies and presents a shortlist of ‘key data needs’ for the sector. The report finds there is great potential to significantly reduce the global data gap, which will enable ASM to deliver on its potential and help fulfill the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report features in-depth analysis of the data gaps and importance of ASM through regional and country case studies, including Ghana, Guyana, India, Mongolia, Morocco and Peru.

“Artisanal and small-scale mining is a vital livelihood for some 40 million people around the world, mostly in developing countries. It’s time to shine a light on this vital sector so we can accelerate investments in people and communities for greater equity and sustainable economic growth” said Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director and Head of the Energy and Extractives Global Practice at the World Bank. “This report is one of the first steps towards building a world where the contributions from miners to the global economy is fully recognized.” 

In 2017, The World Bank and Pact announced a partnership to create Delve, a first-of-its-kind global online platform for ASM data. Delve is a crowdsourcing database built on the data contributions from sector stakeholders. A beta version of the platform is available online at, with the full Version 1.0 to launch later this year. Envisioned as an annual publication, the inaugural ‘state of the sector’ report draws on the data from Delve to provide up-to-date analyses of the sector, in line with emerging global trends and key issues.

“The ASM sector has an urgent need for, and right to, accurate data that truly represents the sector’s potential as well as its challenges. This is essential to avoid repetition of errors, ignorance of gaps, duplication of effort and underselling the sector’s value to international supply chains,” said Karen Hayes, Vice President of Pact’s Mines to Markets initiative. “Bridging the data gap is the first step in removing the veil of invisibility from the millions of men and women miners who are integral to our global economy,” said Hayes.

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To read the full report and for information on Delve, visit the website

About Pact – A nonprofit international development organization founded in 1971, Pact works on the ground in 40 countries to improve the lives of those who are challenged by poverty and marginalization. We serve these communities because we envision a world where everyone owns their future. To do this, we build systemic solutions in partnership with local organizations, businesses, and governments that create thriving and resilient communities where those we serve are heard, capable, and vibrant. Visit us at

About the World Bank - The World Bank provides financing, global knowledge, and long-term commitment to help low- and middle-income countries end poverty, achieve sustainable growth, and invest in opportunity for all.  We comprise the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the world’s largest development bank, and the International Development Association (IDA), one of the largest sources of funding for the world’s poorest countries.  With the other World Bank Group institutions as well as partners across the public and private sectors, we are helping build solutions to the global challenges of the 21st century in all major sectors of development.  A world where no one lives in poverty and everyone has the opportunity for a better life is within our reach.


Molly Derrick, Acting Director, Integrated Communications, Pact: @email

Clare Murphy-McGreevey, Consultant – Communications Officer, Energy and Extractive Industries, World Bank: @email