Socioeconomic Impact of Artisanal and Small Scale Mining on the Mambilla Plateau of Taraba State, Nigeria

Ahmed Y. M., Oruonye E. D.


Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ASM) is an important livelihood activity to most rural dwellers living in communities endowed with mineral resources. Mining in Taraba state is dominated by informal mining activities undertaken by individuals or groups who rely heavily on manual labour, using simple implements and methods. This artisanal and small scale miners' indiscriminately carryout extensive mining activities without any consideration to the environment and other users. Despite serious dangers posed by this activity, artisanal gemstone mining operations continue to spread due to; rise in the demand for gemstone and unattractive nature of other means of livelihoods such as farming in the rural areas where the mineral is substantially available. This study therefore examines the socio-economic impact of artisanal and small scale mining on the Mambilla plateau area of the state. The research design involved the use of field observation and structured questionnaires to collect data required for the study. The findings of this study revealed that ASMs operation in the study area were informal and classified as "Rush" ASM. The involvement of people of different sex, age and other social groups in ASM operations in the study area to generate income was largely poverty driven. The noncompliance of ASM operations to mining rules, regulations and environmental laws accounted for the socioeconomic impacts observed in the study area.

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