Artisanal Gold Mining in Cameroon

Collection with 24 media items created by annamayumi

Kenya 09 Jun 2015 13:32

Cameroon lies on the "gold belt" of West Africa, stretching from Mali through Ghana far into the continent. The eastern part bordering with the political instable Central African Republic is considered one of the most promising regions regarding gold and diamond resources. The business remains a poorly regulated one with hardly any official figures available on extraction or trade. Modern mining methods are under-utilised and foreign investors still to be drawn to the country. In more recent years international companies - mainly from France, China and Canada have shown increasing interest. With poor regulation of the sector and government prone for corruption this development is welcomed with careful scepticism. Illegal mining, land grabbing, and unlawfully accessed licences contribute to a bad image. 

Much of the gold extraction is conducted in artisanal mines. Families and villages jointly work together. Child labor is common, and numerous organizations have reported cases of parents taking their children out of school in order to support the family. 

Many of the informal mines are run by middle-men buying off the minerals (gold and diamonds) at low prices. But money issues are pressing and leave little room and/ or power for negotiation. A gram of 18 karat gold - the result of often multiple days of work goes for as little 10.000 XAF (about 15 Euros)

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

 

Cameroon Mining Children Child Labor Conflict Refugees Poverty Gold Economy Panning Minerals Resources Africa Burundu Foro

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Title photo for the collection
Cameroon Gold Mining 01
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

A girl carrying a tin pan in the gold mine next to the village of Bunduru Foro in eastern Cameroon. The village was built in proximity to mineral rich grounds. The entire community depends on the gold and diamond economy. They sell one gram of gold for as little as XAF 10,000 (USD 17) to middle-men, melting the fine grains into nuggets or simple jewelry and reselling with high margins. Children regularly fail to attend school in order to support their families.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 02
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

The village of Burundu Foro was built in order to access the mineral rich soil close to the border with the Central African Republic. Many children regularly fail to attend school in order to support join their families from a very young age working in the mines.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 03
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

The village of Burundu Foro was built in order to access the mineral rich soil close to the border with the Central African Republic.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 04
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Artisanal mining in the village of Bunduru Foro is done with rudimentary tools as tin bowls, plastic buckets, showels, and simple sieves.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 05
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

The village of Burundu Foro was built in order to access the mineral rich soil close to the border with the Central African Republic. Many children regularly fail to attend school in order to support join their families from a very young age working in the mines. 18-year-old Pier sold a gram of gold for 10,000 XAF. He might get a better price (up to 14,000) but doesn't want to wait, he said.

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Cameroon's Informal Mines 07
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Artisanal mining in the village of Burundu Foro is done with rudimentary tools as tin bowls, plastic buckets, showels, and simple sieves. Familiy members organize themselves throughout various stations of digging and washing the soil. The physically stronger male members of the community dig up the mineral rich soil in unsecured quarries dozens of meters below the surface.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 09
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Only a few minutes away of the small mining Village of Burundu Foro a Chinese Company (not wanting to be named) started a semi-industrial mine. They praise themselves for not employing children as compared to the artisanal mines in the region. Jean Pierre Ngandu, Chief of Burundu Foro meanwhile criticized their illegal acquisition of the mining ground.
According to the law about 30 percent of the revenue of exporting gold and diamonds should be paid in taxes. But even government officials operating in the mining sector confirmed that theory and praxis are poles apart.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 10
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Only a few minutes away of the small mining Village of Burundu Foro a Chinese Company (not wanting to be named) started a semi-industrial mine. They praise themselves for not employing children as compared to the artisanal mines in the region. Jean Pierre Ngandu, Chief of Burundu Foro meanwhile criticized their illegal acquisition of the mining ground.
According to the law about 30 percent of the revenue of exporting gold and diamonds should be paid in taxes. But even government officials operating in the mining sector confirmed that theory and praxis are poles apart.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 11
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Villagers from Burundu Foro washing soil dug up in a nearby quarry in a rivlet.
Artisanal mining in the village of Burundu Foro is done with rudimentary tools as tin bowls, plastic buckets, showels, and simple sieves. Familiy members organize themselves throughout various stations of digging and washing the soil.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 12
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Only a short walk away international companies have established semi-industrial mines. In Burundu Foro artisanal miners keep working with rudimentary equipment.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 13
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Burundu Foro was constructed as a mining village. The living conditions are poor. Almost half of the Cameroonian population lives under the poverty line. For artisanal miners there is not much hope to climb the ladder in the trade business of precious minerals.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 15
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

The continuing outbreaks of violence in the neighboring Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Ten thousands are hiding in the bush close to the border with Cameroon and actively participate in artisanal mining activities - among them are many children - in order to fight starvation.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 16
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

The continuing outbreaks of violence in the neighboring Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Ten thousands are hiding in the bush close to the border with Cameroon and actively participate in artisanal mining activities - among them are many children - in order to fight starvation.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 17
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

The continuing outbreaks of violence in the neighboring Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Ten thousands are hiding in the bush close to the border with Cameroon and actively participate in artisanal mining activities - among them are many children - in order to fight starvation.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 18
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

The continuing outbreaks of violence in the neighboring Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Ten thousands are hiding in the bush close to the border with Cameroon and actively participate in artisanal mining activities - among them are many children - in order to fight starvation.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 19
Batouri, Bunduru Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Artisanal mining in the east of Cameroon is done with rudimentary tools as tin bowls, plastic buckets, shovels, and simple sieves. Family members organize themselves throughout various stations of digging and washing the soil.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 20
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

The continuing outbreaks of violence in the neighboring Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Ten thousands are hiding in the bush close to the border with Cameroon and actively participate in artisanal mining activities - among them are many children - in order to fight starvation.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 21
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Villagers of Bunduru Foro grinding dug up soil from the quarry in preparation to be washed in the rivlet.
Artisanal mining in the east of Cameroon is done with rudimentary tools as tin bowls, plastic buckets, shovels, and simple sieves. Family members organize themselves throughout various stations of digging and washing the soil.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 22
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

Villagers of Bunduru Foro grinding dug up soil from the quarry in preparation to be washed in the rivlet.
Artisanal mining in the east of Cameroon is done with rudimentary tools as tin bowls, plastic buckets, shovels, and simple sieves. Family members organize themselves throughout various stations of digging and washing the soil.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 24
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

A woman from the village of Bunduru Foro panning for gold. Artisanal mining in the east of Cameroon is done with rudimentary tools as tin bowls, plastic buckets, shovels, and simple sieves. Family members organize themselves throughout various stations of digging and washing for gold.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 25
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
21 Aug 2014

A family at the village of Bunduru Foro in eastern Cameroon. The village was built in proximity to mineral rich grounds. The entire community depends on the gold and diamond economy. They sell one gram of gold for as little as XAF 10,000 (USD 17) to middle-men, melting the fine grains into nuggets or simple jewelry and reselling with high margins. Children regularly fail to attend school in order to support their families.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 26
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
20 Aug 2014

A girl at Timangolo refugee camp in eastern Cameroon. The continuing outbreaks of violence in the neighboring Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Ten thousands are hiding in the bush close to the border with Cameroon and actively participate in artisanal mining activities - among them many children - in order to fight starvation.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 27
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
20 Aug 2014

A girl at Timangolo refugee camp in eastern Cameroon. The continuing outbreaks of violence in the neighboring Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Ten thousands are hiding in the bush close to the border with Cameroon and actively participate in artisanal mining activities - among them are many children - in order to fight starvation.

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Cameroon Gold Mining 28
Batouri, Burundu Foro, Cameroon
By annamayumi
20 Aug 2014

A young girl treated for malnutrition at Timangolo refugee camp in eastern Cameroon. The continuing outbreaks of violence in the neighboring Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Ten thousands are hiding in the bush close to the border with Cameroon and actively participate in artisanal mining activities - among them many children - in order to fight starvation.