As told by Eleanor Fisher, Gold Matters Project Leader.
In April and May 2020 the Brazilian team of the Gold Matters project collected data on how the COVID-
19 crisis was affecting artisanal and small-scale gold miners (ASGM) in three regions in the Brazilian
The published results of the investigation “Small-scale gold mining and the COVID-19 pandemic: Conflict and cooperation in the Brazilian Amazon” reveal how the impact of COVID-19 has
two sides. On the one hand, the vulnerability of miners is exposed, while on the other, their
capacity to find coping solutions is revealed.
Following this first study, the Brazilian team coordinated further data collection between May and August 2020 in the same three regions. This work was part of the World Bank-led DELVE global data gathering exercise to record specific COVID-19 impacts on ASGM communities. The collaboration included 18 organizations over 22 countries. The results of the survey are accessible on the DELVE platform.
Moreover, the World Bank’s Extractives Global Programmatic Support Fund recently granted funding for project members to propose initiatives that improve the sustainability of gold mining in relation to the use of mercury and to illegal gold trading in the community of Peixoto de Azevedo. The research is intended to contribute to building more resilient ASGM communities after the crisis. It will also inform policy-makers, academics and others about priorities, and the impacts of COVID-19 in these communities. This knowledge is important for understanding how local people can organize the sector in terms of new practices for employee healthcare, and – of course – for environmental and social sustainability.
Find out more:
J. Calvimontes, L. Massaro, C.H.X. Araujo, R.R. Moraes, J. Mello, L.C. Ferreira, M. de Theije, Small-scale gold mining and the COVID-19 pandemic: Conflict and cooperation in the Brazilian Amazon, The Extractive Industries and Society, Volume 7, Issue 4, 2020, pp. 1347-1350, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2020.08.013.
Delve. (2020). Delve COVID-19 Impact Reporting.
All photos courtesy of Jorge Calvimontes.