Estimates on the number of people directly employed in artisanal and small-scale mining in Tanzania vary with the most recent estimate stating between 1 million (Hruschka 2015, 110) to 1.5 million miners (UNECA 2011, 69). As a comparison, the formal Tanzanian mining and quarrying sector (inclusive of minerals, oil and gas) was estimated to employ 35,900 people in 2016 (TEITI 2019, 9) with the most recent large-scale mining sector estimate in 2008 reported at 8,733 people (URT 2008 cited by Nyankweli 2012).
In Tanzania, the ASM sector is characterized by a three-tiered organization (Merket 2019). Primary Mining License (PML) holders often play a role of financiers and subcontract the management of mining operations to pit owners (Bryceson and Geenen 2016). The latter hire diggers and workers and provide them with food and equipment. Most of the ASM population is constituted by casual and highly mobile workers. Pit owners are usually the one baring most of the investments and risk (Merket 2019, 33). Revenues are generally distributed through Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) rather than fixed wages paid in cash. Read more in the Tanzania Country Profile