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FROM THE FIELD: West Africa’s wishful gold diggers

An artisanal miner holds a small nugget of gold dug in Sikasso in Mali. IOM/Anna Pujol-Mazzini

Mali is Africa’s third biggest exporter of gold and a third of the country’s total production is estimated to come from artisanal mining in which over one million people are employed. 

Many are farmers who have migrated from neighbouring countries in the hope of supplementing the meagre incomes they earn from what is a seasonal occupation. 

But, as demand for artisanal gold increases, so too does the number of people dying in poorly constructed mines.  

Read more here about how this precious metal continues to shine for some of West Africa’s poorest.  

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