More than 40 million people work in artisanal mining: report
By Peter Hobson LONDON (Reuters) - More than 40 million people around the world work in artisanal and small-scale mining where minerals including gold, diamonds and cobalt are dug up often by hand, a report by the World Bank and development organisation Pact said on Wednesday. Increasing demand for metals and rising prices have triggered a boom in small-scale mining in recent years, mainly in poorer countries in South America, Africa and Asia. These mines are a vital source of income for communities, but many operate outside the law and leak chemicals into rocks, soil and rivers
By Peter Hobson
LONDON (Reuters) - More than 40 million people around the world work in artisanal and small-scale mining where minerals including gold, diamonds and cobalt are dug up often by hand, a report by the World Bank and development organisation Pact said on Wednesday.
Increasing demand for metals and rising prices have triggered a boom in small-scale mining in recent years, mainly in poorer countries in South America, Africa and Asia.
These mines are a vital source of income for communities, but many operate outside the law and leak chemicals into rocks, soil and rivers. Working conditions can be appalling, and the metal and stones dug up are often smuggled across borders on a vast scale, sometimes by criminal operations.
Billions of dollars worth of gold is being smuggled out of Africa, a Reuters investigation found this week.
The World Bank and Pact said too little was known about how many people worked in small mines and previous estimates, which were often far lower than 40 million, tended to be partial or rely on outdated data.
"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," Riccardo Puliti, the World Bank's head of energy and extractives global practice, said in a statement.
The report said 16.3 million people worked in small-scale mining in South Asia, of which 12 million were in India, and 9.8 million people in East Asia and the Pacific, of which 9 million were in China.
Another 9.9 million people worked in sub-Saharan Africa, the report said, with 2 million in the Democratic Republic of Congo and between 1 and 1.5 million each in Sudan, Ghana and Tanzania.
Just over 2 million people work in the industry in Latin America and the Caribbean, with 1.9 million more in the Middle East and North Africa and 100,000 in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, it said.
Thirty percent of the workers globally were women, the report found.
Minerals mined in small-scale and artisanal mines include gold and diamonds, used for jewellery and investment, and tin, tungsten, tantalum and cobalt consumed in industry, electronics and batteries that power electric vehicles.
(Reporting by Peter Hobson; editing by David Evans)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Pete Schroeder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co will resume making political donations to U.S. lawmakers but will not give to Republican members of Congress who voted to overturn President Joe Biden's election victory, according to an internal memo on Friday seen by Reuters. The bank was among many corporations that paused political giving following the deadly Jan
(Reuters) - Fintech company Square Inc is considering making a hardware wallet for bitcoin, Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey said in a tweet https://twitter.com/jack/status/1400839179513339905 on Friday. As bitcoin and other crypto-currencies have gained in popularity, many companies have emerged to serve a growing need to protect these assets from online theft. Bitcoin wallets can be stored offline or online at cryptocurrency exchanges, venues where bitcoin can be bought and sold for traditional currencies or other virtual coins.
By Foo Yun Chee BRUSSELS (Reuters) -The European Commission on Friday defined the scope of revised copyright rules adopted last year following criticism from governments, including France and Poland, but EU broadcasters and internet activists said there was a danger of censorship. The revamped copyright directive, the first overhaul in two decades, aimed to provide fair compensation for the bloc's $1 trillion creative industry and its 11.7 million employees. A central provision, Article 17, backed by the creative industry, would force Google-owned YouTube, Facebook's Instagram and other sharing platforms to install filters to prevent users from uploading copyrighted materials