Ban mining, ban dining? Re(examining) the policy and practice of ‘militarised conservationism’ on ASM operations


The artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) frontier continues to advance in most mineral-endowed countries due to rising unemployment and general economic decline particularly in rural communities. The sector, however, is often viewed in a negative light because it is highly environmentally destructive. In seeking to address the environmental challenges, many governments have, on occasion, actioned military strategies aimed at presenting facets of ‘sanitisation’ to a highly informal industry that has historically been tagged as an enemy of the environment. This study examines such ‘mining vs. environment’ discourses that have resulted in military crackdowns on ASM operations in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Overall, the findings bust the ‘myth’ of the appropriateness of military interventions regarding ASM operations. Offering insights into the livelihood dimensions of ASM operations, we submit that our understanding of mining-ban failures can be assisted by an understanding of the broader geographical, socio-economic, technological, and institutional antecedents that combine to allow illegal mining operations to proliferate.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Marketing & Strategy
Additional Information: Crown Copyright © 2024. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Uncontrolled Keywords: Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM),Environmental governance,Militarisation,Livelihoods
Publication ISSN: 2214-790X
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2024 07:39
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2024 16:42
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.sci ... 214790X24000303 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Review article
Published Date: 2024-03
Published Online Date: 2024-02-16
Accepted Date: 2024-02-11
Authors: Ofosu, George
Siaw, Daniel
Sarpong, David (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-1533-4332)
Danquah, Stephen



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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