2020 State of the ASM Sector Report Learn about artisanal and small-scale mining's contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 8 in our new report


Gavin is a leading global authority on the environmental and social impacts of the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector. He has published over 300 journal articles, book chapters and reports on the subject, and his specialist knowledge is recognized internationally. He has delivered talks and provided expert consulting services to a range of international organizations including donor agencies, government, industry, and NGOs. His has carried out research, which has been by a range of academic and industry sources, on the impact of mineral certification schemes; the challenges with formalizing ASM; Corporate Social Responsibility in the mining sector, specifically the application of a 'social license to operate' in sub-Saharan Africa and relations between multinationals and artisanal operators; mercury pollution and management at small-scale gold mines; child labour in small-scale mining; and the linkages between smallholder farming, agricultural liberalization and the growth of ASM in sub-Saharan Africa. Gavin is also editor-in-chief of The Extractive Industries and Society (Elsevier Science), the one journal devoted to disseminating in-depth analysis of the socio-economic and environmental impacts of mining and oil and gas production on societies, both past and present.

Gavin has mentored over 15 PhD researchers and countless masters and undergraduate students through to completion. He received his Bachelor’s and Masters degrees from the University of Toronto, and his PhD from the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine. Gavin has held academic posts at leading UK institutions including Cardiff University, The University of Manchester and The University of Reading, and is currently based at the University of Surrey.

Resource Library Contributions

2019 State of the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Sector

Author: G Hilson, J McQuilken, R Perks
Publisher: World Bank
Publication Year: 1969

The 2019 State of the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Sector report showcases data contributions made to Delve and demonstrates the potential for a deeper sector analysis when stakeholders share data. As the inaugural report of a planned annual series, the 2019 edition explores the origins and impact of what is identified...

Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining and Agriculture: Exploring their links in Sub-Saharan Africa

Author: G. Hilson
Publisher: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
Publication Year: 1969

In sub-Saharan Africa, artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) employs tens of millions of people directly. Most of the region’s ASM activities are informal because registration is often costly and bureaucratic. The resulting illegality, along with the sector’s numerous social ills and environmental impacts, has overshadowed...