Conflict Management Related to Artisanal Gold Mining in Upper Guinea from 2008 to 2020


Mohamed Sacko
Université Julius Nyéréré De Kankan, Guinea


This project on the Management of conflicts related to artisanal gold mining in Upper Guinea from 2008 to 2020, aims to understand the fundamental aspects of conflicts, including mainly issues related to artisanal mining and to propose as much as possible approaches to preventive solutions, with a view to sustainable development in Upper Guinea. Specifically, it is a question of identifying the factors, the actors as well as the effects of these conflicts, in order to formulate management recommendations likely to reconcile exploitation, populations and sustainable development. Artisanal gold mining is the first income-generating activity in Upper Guinea, particularly in the prefectures of Dinguiraye, Kouroussa, Mandiana and Siguiri. It causes problems on the environment by the destruction of the plant cover, the bush fires caused by gold washers, the destruction of the soil by the opening of gold mining quarries. Added to this, the different forms of chemical pollutants including mercury as work tools to produce without any technical knowledge of the misdeeds. Hence the need to develop strategies aimed at disseminating technologies for the use of mercury for body protection and the restoration of areas degraded by mining activities.This artisanal mining of gold is carried out especially in the dry season when the peasants withdraw from the fields after the harvest. Depending on the years, it can provide operators with income deemed appreciable (a few grams of gold). The practice often causes the destruction of thousands of young trees on the occupied space. The dug holes remain abandoned without any filling measures being considered. This state of affairs constitutes a danger for the men and animals who are victims of the mine holes left open. In this unfortunate situation, women are the hardest hit because they are always at the forefront of the fight for the survival of households. The alleviation of their burdens is a major concern in the region, malnourished children with precarious state of health and a low rate of education, especially among young girls. It remains understood that in Upper Guinea, the artisanal exploitation of gold is often the basis of repeated conflicts. These conflicts lead to bloody clashes over the management of mining quarries. There are latent forms where artisanal gold miners are in dispute with invectives of all kinds, others drag the protagonists before the courts of the State. Due to the high number of cases, attention must be paid to the phenomenon in the search for a climate of peace at the risk of setting an entire region ablaze.

November 9, 2022