Rationale: As according to GEF-21 ASGM alone employs 200,000 miners, the best guess for the total is 230,000 (including tin, base metals, etc.)
Min/max: Country appears to be well assessed, min/max is therefore set to approx. 5% i.e. +/- 10,000.
Female participation: Approx. 30% are women, i.e. approx 75,000.
Gold is 200,000 according to GEF-21

2021: 200,000 ASGM


People employed in ASGM: 200,000
Gold produced (kg/year): 37,000
Mercury released (kg/year): 120,000

2018: 209,800

(ARM-18): Table Annex 3: 209,800

2014: 130,000

(UBC-14): Gold-only data produced by statistic modelling:

Expected ASM population: 130,000 
Estimated ASM gold production: 24.8 t/

2014: 45,000

(SPDA-14): 45,000
Data apparently for gold and “illegal” only
Número de personas dedicadas a la minería informal/ilegal: 45 000 / Número de personas que dependen de la minería informal/ilegal: 209,800

2013: 72,000

(IIED-13): 72,000

2003: 72,000

(MMSD-03): Estimate for MMSD research country: 72,000
MMSD study by D.Bocangel (

1999: 100,000


Employment: 100,000
Number of mines: 1,000
Illegal mines (%): 10-20

ReferenceYearCitationArchived CopyLink
GEF-212021GEF (2021): Second phase of planetGOLD doubles countries addressing mercury in ASGM. Article on PlanetGOLD website, 29 March…
ARM-182018Barreto, M.L.,Schein, P., Hinton, J., Hruschka, F. (2018): The Impact of Small-Scale Mining Operations on Economies and Livelihoods in Low- to Middle-Income Countries. ARM, Envigado, PACT,…
IGF-182018IGF (2018): Global Trends in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM): A review of key numbers and issues. IIED/IISD, London,…
GMA-182018UNEP (2018): Global Mercury Assessment 2018. Technical Background Report E-Annex. Chapter 3.2. UNEP,…
UBC-142014Seccatore, J., Veiga, M., et al. (Univ. of British Columbia - UBC) (2014): An estimation of the artisanal small-scale production of gold in the world. Scitotenv.…
SPDA-142014Heck, C., coord. (2014): La realidad de la minería ilegal en países amazónicos. SPDA.…
IIED-132013Buxton, A. (2013): Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining. How can knowledge networks help? IIED,…
MMSD-032003Hentschel, T., Hruschka, F., Priester, M. (2003): Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining - Challenges and Opportunities. MMSD (IIED),…
ILO-991999Jennings, N. (1999): Social and labour issues in small-scale mines. Report for discussion at the Tripartite Meeting on Social and Labour Issues in Small-scale Mines. ILO,…
ASM DATA - Country Database Record
Country CodeBOL
ASM StatusExisting (data assessed)
Country Count1
Data year2021
Publ. year2021
ASM Miners230,000
- gold200 ,000
Data curation extrapolated
Inc. DevMinno
- min.220,000
- max.240,000
- female75 ,000
ASM Commoditiesgold, tin, base metals
  • country/bolivia.txt
  • Last modified: 2022/11/04
  • by Felix Hruschka