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The Large-Scale Mining (LSM) - informal Artisanal-Scale Mining (ASM) interface in Peru : exploring a key policy "bottleneck" through Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) Cano Roncagliolo, Alvaro

Abstract

Approximately 20% of the world's gold is produced by the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASSM) sector and over 150 million people depend on the activity to sustain their livelihoods. Between 2002 and 2012, the price of gold in the international metal market caused an explosion of informal ASM activities in Peru, modifying, in key “mining corridors”, the relationships between formal mining (mostly Large-Scale Mining or LSM and Medium-Scale Mining (MSM) and informal mining (mostly Artisanal-Scale Mining or ASM). It is estimated that there are between 300,000 and 500,000 artisanal miners in Peru and further 1 million people linked to the activity, which produces 20% of Peruvian gold. Only 60,000 are registered in the State’s formalization process but to complete the formalization process, at least 64% of these cases require an “Exploitation Contract (EC)”, granted by the formal concession holder. This instrument has been the main “bottleneck” in the Peruvian formalization process and at the interface between these types of mining since 2012. This study applies a Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) methodology to explore the influence that 5 theorized conditions may have played in bringing about an Exploitation Contract between formal-LSM and informal-ASM scales. The absence or presence of these 5 conditions are arranged in a binary “Truth Table” for an intermediate “N” of 20 cases of the interface, representing diversity in terms of positive and negative outcomes. The results indicate that arriving at an EC in Peru, due to the lack of state presence in mining regions, is an issue to be solved mainly among private parties. Accordingly, the QCA application indicates that there are two necessary conditions to arrive at an EC: (1) a strong willingness to formalize a mining business on behalf of ASSM producers and, (2) a strong corporate incentive or “business case” for LSM companies to support ASM formalization within their concessions. In addition, the participation of a third actor or State’s active role, and a corporate culture appropriate to engage ASM producers, while not necessary conditions to bring about the EC, are consistently present in the “pathways” or “solution formulas” that arrive at an EC.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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