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The ambiguity of transparency in the artisanal and small-scale mining sector of Tanzania


Pedersen, Anna Frohn; Nielsen, Jonas Østergaard; Mempel, Finn; Bager, Simon Laursen; Jønsson, Jesper Bosse; Corbera, Esteve (2021). The ambiguity of transparency in the artisanal and small-scale mining sector of Tanzania. Extractive Industries and Society, 8(4):101004.

Abstract

This paper examines the newly established mineral markets in Tanzania. These markets aim to ensure tax revenue collection and enhance the transparency of mineral trade within the artisanal and small-scale mining sector. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in the Geita Region, we show that the enhanced transparency facilitated by these new markets has benefitted artisanal and small-scale gold miners. However, the living conditions of the miners and opportunities for profit have not changed significantly and the miners do not expect that a more transparent value chain will improve their lives. Many miners continue to depend on sponsorships from more powerful actors, which narrows their ability to profit from transparent market structures. Based on these findings, we discuss the ambiguity of transparency, as its transformative potentials are both important and limited and we argue that transparency for small-scale producers is not a straightforward path towards their empowerment.

Abstract

This paper examines the newly established mineral markets in Tanzania. These markets aim to ensure tax revenue collection and enhance the transparency of mineral trade within the artisanal and small-scale mining sector. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in the Geita Region, we show that the enhanced transparency facilitated by these new markets has benefitted artisanal and small-scale gold miners. However, the living conditions of the miners and opportunities for profit have not changed significantly and the miners do not expect that a more transparent value chain will improve their lives. Many miners continue to depend on sponsorships from more powerful actors, which narrows their ability to profit from transparent market structures. Based on these findings, we discuss the ambiguity of transparency, as its transformative potentials are both important and limited and we argue that transparency for small-scale producers is not a straightforward path towards their empowerment.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Geography, Planning and Development
Social Sciences & Humanities > Development
Physical Sciences > Economic Geology
Physical Sciences > Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Language:English
Date:2021
Deposited On:16 Feb 2023 18:11
Last Modified:28 Apr 2024 01:49
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2214-790X
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2021.101004
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)