Estimation follows data from MMSD-03 → 9,000,000.
Min/max: following MMSD-03, but with minimum set higher at 7M which seems more realistic than 3M. → 7-15 million
Female participation: no data. +25% does not appear unrealistic for China. → 2,500,000.
Gold: using data from UBC-14 → 2,750,000.

2018: 9,000,000

ARM-18 and IGF-18 quoting data from IIED-13, which originate from MMSD-03

2014: 2,746,000

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

Expected ASM population: 2,746,000 
Estimated ASM gold production: 48.2 t/a

2013: 9,000,000

(IIED-13): 3,000,000 - 15,000,000 (inherited from MMSD-03)

2003: 9,000,000

(MMSD-03): Estimate for MMSD research country: 3,000,000 - 15,000,000
MMSD study by A.J.Gunson and Y.Jian (

1999: 4,300,000

(ILO-99): Employment: 4,300,000
Number of mines: 250,000
Illegal mines: +/- 80%

ReferenceYearCitationArchived CopyLink
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.…
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 CodeCHN
ASM StatusExisting (data assessed)
Country Count1
Data year2003
Publ. year2018
ASM Miners9,000,000
- gold2 ,750 ,000
Data curation as reported
Inc. DevMinsome
- min.7,000,000
- max.15,000,000
- female2 ,500 ,000
ASM Commoditiesgold, 3T, coal, gemstone, jade
  • country/china.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/02/17
  • by Felix Hruschka