Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Artisanal mining in Namibia — Understanding the cycle of poverty and the impact of selling collector minerals in the local marketplace
by Ross, Brad, Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2011, 170; 3482793
Abstract (Summary)

The subject of this dissertation is artisanal mining in Namibia and is based on two hypotheses. The first is that if the artisanal mining process is well understood in Namibia, then effective solutions to improving the artisanal mining cycle of poverty can be developed. The second hypothesis states that if effective solutions to improving the artisanal mining cycle of poverty can be implemented, then the miners' income can be increased.

Research for the dissertation is broken down into four areas. The first area includes the development of an understanding of the artisanal mining process. A general model that shows the relationship of four basic elements of artisanal mining (investment, production, sales and consumption) as well as several components that make up the elements was created. The model also describes the various environments (physical, social/cultural, and political) that artisanal operate.

The Artisanal Mining Process Model was then used to evaluate artisanal mining in Namibia. Artisanal mining in Namibia is somewhat unique because of the material mined (collector minerals and semi-precious gemstones), but the outcome is consistent with other locations with most artisanal miners only making a subsistence living. One of the key outcomes of this part of the study is the identification of low sales revenue exacerbated by the miners having to sell in a local market with few buyers.

Because the local market and buyers are a critical component of the cycle of poverty, the third area of research is an understanding of the local market and the supply chain that ultimately leads to a much larger international market. The international markets lead to the fourth area of research, which is the Tucson Mineral Show, the largest of its kind in the world.

The conclusions of the paper discuss the applicability of the Artisanal Mining Process Model in helping to understand issues facing the artisanal miners as well as methods that could be used to help the artisanal miners participate in the international market for collector minerals.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dessureault, Sean
Commitee: Burgess, Jeff, Poulton, Mary, Rieber, Michael, Stobbe, Terrance
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Mining Geological & Geophysical Engineering
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 73/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Labor economics, Mining, Public policy
Keywords: Artisanal mining, Cycle of poverty, Marketplace, Namibia
Publication Number: 3482793
ISBN: 9781267047137
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