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The Contribution of Small‐Scale Mining to World Mineral Production

There is no agreement as to the definition of a small‐scale mine. It is proposed that for a developing country a small‐scale mine be defined as a producer (often sporadically) of limited amounts of minerals for deposits with a few known ore reserves, and of a character not readily amenable to mass mining. Output is won without appreciable use of mechanical energy and by exploitation of labor under leadership which sometimes lacks technical, managerial or entrepreneurial skills. A mine producing less than 100 000 tons of ore is considered to be a small‐scale mine. Using these criteria and worldwide production data, an estimate of the contribution of small‐scale mining to world mineral output is made. The estimate is 16%.

Additional Info

J S Carman
Publication Year
Associated Partners
Natural Resources Forum
Publishing Institution Webpage
Data Source Classification
Global Report
Research Type
Research Methodology
Antimony, Bauxite, Bismuth, Cassiterite, Clays, Cobalt, Copper, Feldspar, Fluorspar, Gemstones, Gold, Gypsum, Mercury, Phosphate, Sand, Silver, Tantalite, Tantalum, Tin, Tungsten
Global, Global/Multi-Region
Last Updated
February 24, 2020