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IM4DC research collaboration improving health and safety in artisanal mining communities

IWC is proudly supporting The University of Queensland and The University of Western Australia in a collaborative research initiative funded by the International Mining 4 Development Centre (IM4DC).
IM4DC research collaboration improving health and safety in artisanal mining communities

Photo courtesy Lynda Lawson, UQ

This research explores the work performed in Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) in developing countries, to find holistic and integrated approaches to improving water-related safety, health and sanitation for these communities.

ASM directly involves 20-30 million people globally, and indirectly supports the livelihood of a further 3-5 times that number.

IM4DC-1ASM is characterised by manual extraction and processing of minerals. It is labour-intensive, rudimentary and lacks capital and modern mining and processing technologies, leading to health, safety and sanitation issues.

Water is an indispensable resource in ASM. Communities are located close to rivers to support operations, and can exert stress on watersheds immediate to the ASM communities. In many instances, community members work long hours standing in polluted water, which they also use for washing and drinking.

IM4DC-2This project seeks to understand the work of ASM communities as a foundation for discussion of improved safety, health and sanitation in water use.

Engagement with key institutional and community stakeholders will help prioritise future capacity building initiatives at both individual and institutional levels.


(Photo top left courtesy Danellie Lynas, UQ; photo left courtesy Lynda Lawson, UQ)

Project team

The project team brings together multi-disciplinary expertise in OHS, integrated water management (IWM) and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): Danellie Lynas, Mark Griffin, Sarah Goater, David Cliff, Carmel Bofinger, Ben Fawcett, Lynda Lawson, Alycia Moore, Melissa Chapman, and post-graduate students Evelyn Kamanga and Gernelyn Logrosa.

Ms Kamanga and Ms Logrosa (pictured right) will contribute valuable case study information from Ghana and the Philippines, playing leadership roles in the study design that will also contribute to their respective studies.

Evelyn Kamanga Gernelyn Logrosa

Are you eligible to participate?

  • Do you have direct working experience of an ASM community?
  • Or have you lived for a period of time in areas with ASM communities?

If so, the project team would love to have your contribution in this research.

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Can you help?

By forwarding this news item through your networks, you can help bring great benefits to individuals, communities and organisations associated with ASM.

Research partners

IM4DC is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through an Australian aid initiative to identify needs and develop capacity in mining for development; specifically, issues pertaining to governance and regulation, social and environmental sustainability, and operational effectiveness in developing countries.

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