Artisanal and small scale mining in India: selected studies and an overview of the issues

Mihir Deb, Garima Tiwari, Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    In India, mining is one of the main economic activities since time immemorial, giving rise to a long historical tradition of artisanal mining. As modern mining rose during the colonial occupation, artisanal mining activities began to be overlooked and this great tradition became obscure. This invisibility, added with confusion with regard to legally accepted definitions has enhanced the negligence of the artisanal mining sector in India. This study draws attention to the contemporary artisanal mining practices in India - both traditional and non-traditional ones - with regard to four commodities, gold, tin, coal and lignite, and gemstones. It briefly discusses the occurrences of such mining, their salient features and concludes with four specific recommendations. Our recommendations primarily deal with the need for creation of a broader information base, delineating a responsible body to deal with this kind of mining, legal reforms leading to definitional changes and finally, the recognition of the poverty alleviation potential of this sector in view of the Millennium Development Goals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)194-209
    JournalInternational Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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