Event Description

Artisanal Mining

Being low on cash, a neighbour has started digging for cobalt and other rare minerals on his lands – and he’s had some luck! He’s willing to help you set up your own artisanal mine, although safety could be a concern.

Expected profit: $100

Start digging?

3rd world farmer artisinal mining
Artisanal Mining event screenshot, 3rd World Farmer.

In-game Effects

On acceptance, the player will receive the expected $100. However, at the end of the following season a random check is performed to see whether the mine collapses, killing one farm family member in the process. The risk is relatively high, compared to other special events.

If an accident does occur, it will be explained in the summary section of the annual report. In either case, the mine is considered exhausted after one season and will not provide any additional revenue after the first $100.

Artisanal Mining from a Development Perspective

Artisanal mining is a type of small-scale mining that involves individuals or small groups of people who use basic tools and techniques to extract minerals or precious metals from the ground. While it can be a source of income for many people, it often comes with significant environmental, social, and economic challenges.

In many developing countries, artisanal mining is a common practice due to the lack of formal employment opportunities and poverty. The people involved in artisanal mining are often marginalized and live in impoverished communities. Artisanal mining can offer an opportunity for these people to earn a living, but it can also lead to health and safety risks, exploitation, and child labor.

From a development perspective, artisanal mining is often viewed as a challenge to sustainable development. The mining process can cause significant environmental damage, including soil erosion, water pollution, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity. The use of mercury and other chemicals in the mining process can also have serious health consequences for the miners and their communities.

In addition to the environmental impact, artisanal mining can have negative social and economic impacts. The lack of regulation and oversight can lead to exploitation and abuse, including child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking. The low wages paid to miners also contribute to poverty and inequality.

Governments and international organizations have recognized the need to address the challenges of artisanal mining. Efforts are being made to improve working conditions, increase transparency, and promote responsible mining practices. For example, the Fairtrade Gold program certifies responsible artisanal and small-scale mining operations and helps miners receive fair prices for their products.

Artisanal mining is a complex issue that presents both opportunities and challenges for development. While it can provide a source of income for marginalized communities, it also poses significant environmental, social, and economic risks. It is important to address these challenges and work towards more responsible and sustainable mining practices.

External Links

WikiPedia articles on Artisanal mining and Conflict resources:

“Young and dying: the scandal of artisanal mining”, The Globe and Mail, 2012:

“The Real Price of Gold,” National Geographic Magazine, 2009:

Fairtrade Gold:

Some interactive world maps of artisanal and small-scale mining: