- Report year:2022
- Report author: Olivia Lyster, Ashley Smith-Roberts, and Ege Tekinbas
- Organisation: Levin Sources, IGF
The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating impacts on the livelihoods of many people around the world. Its impact on informal sectors and in jurisdictions where state reach and support are limited have been all the more damaging. The artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector—which employs nearly 45 million people around the world (Delve, n.d.) and indirectly supports approximately 150 million (Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development, 2017)—has been among those hit hardest by the pandemic. Health impacts on miners and their families have included sickness and in some cases death, with many mining communities located in rural areas far from health care or the social safety net of the state. The closure of international borders and imposition of national movement restrictions in many countries disrupted mineral supply chains, creating significant obstacles to trade and a buyer’s market that saw the collapse of mineral prices at the ASM site level.