The multidimensionality of exclusion in the small-scale gold mining sector in Guyana: institutional reform, landlordism, and mineral uncertainty

Hook, Andrew (2019) The multidimensionality of exclusion in the small-scale gold mining sector in Guyana: institutional reform, landlordism, and mineral uncertainty. World Development, 123 (104607). pp. 1-16. ISSN 0305-750X

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Abstract

Proponents of formalization argue that bringing artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) into the legal sphere represents the best way of enabling social and economic development. Critics counter that formalization policies can be a source of exclusion for smaller producers, as new properties become difficult and expensive to access, and new regulatory standards prove beyond the technical and financial capacity of smaller operators. Guyana’s long-formalized ASM gold-mining sector offers a useful lens through which to examine these arguments. This article finds that Guyana’s relatively established and egalitarian ASM sector has become the site of various complex exclusionary dynamics. On the one hand, the impacts of increasingly restrictive state-led forms appear to support contentions about how formal mining environments tend towards the exclusion of smaller operators. On the other hand, evidence shows that it is not merely state policies that are responsible for exclusion, but further social and ecological factors, such as landlord-tenant relations and the depth and scarcity of mineral deposits. Overall, these findings offer new perspectives on ASM dynamics within formalized institutional environments. They suggest that understanding exclusion can be aided by adopting an analytical lens capable of capturing the complex interactions between a range of social and ecological phenomena.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Small-scale gold mining, Formalization, Political ecology, Exclusion, South America, Guyana
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences > GE170 Environmental policy
H Social Sciences > HC Economic history and conditions > HC0079 Special topics, A-Z > HC0079.E5 Environmental policy and economic development. Sustainable development Including environmental economics
H Social Sciences > HC Economic history and conditions > HC0094 America > HC0121 Latin America > HC0161 South America
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Depositing User: Andrew Hook
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2019 08:22
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2019 08:31
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/85086

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