(LBR-2021a) is the most recent publication, but draws mainly on data from 2015. The quoted LEITI report indicates 100,000 miners + 500,000 diggers. As diggers might be part-time, a reasonable estimate appreas to be → 200,000
Min/max: Minimum is 100,000 as indicated for “miners”. Max could go into 300,000. Uncertainty is high. → 100,000 - 300,000
Female participation: 10-20% back in 2010 (quoted in LBR-2021a) 15% of 200,000 → 30,000
Gold: best reasonable guess is 50% of ASM workforce → 100,000

2021: 100,000 - 600,000


In Liberia, it is estimated that approximately 30,000-100,000 people are engaged in ASM activities (Boakye et al 2012; MLME 2009 and PRS 2008 cited by Hinton 2010, LEITI 2015), of which about 10-20% are women (Hinton 2010 cited by Eftimie et al. 2012). However, this figure is considered an underestimate given the informal nature of ASM. 787,500 (and perhaps as many as 1.575 million) individuals are estimated to depend in some way on the sector for at least part of their cash income (LEITI 2015), a significant portion of whom are foreign nationals. 
Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives’ (LEITI) 2015 scoping study of the mining sector estimates “approximately **100,000** artisanal and small-scale miners and up to **500,000** diggers in Liberia” citing USAID’s Governance Economic and Management Assistance Program as the source (LEITI 2015, 16).
There does not exist a specific estimate to the total number of women working in the artisanal mining sector in Liberia. The single estimate on the portion of women involved in the sector comes from a 2012 study that states 10-20% of the estimated 50,000-75,000 artisanal diamond miners are women (Hinton 2010 cited by Eftimie et al. 2012, 4). Women are also noted to participate in the artisanal gold sector most commonly as panners but estimates to the proportion of the sector women makeup are not available.

2018: 100,000

(ARM-18), Table Annex 3: 100,000
Quoting Small (2012):

2018: 100,000

(IGF-18): Table 3

Directly working in ASM: 100,000
Estimated number of dependants: 600,000
Main Minerals: Gold, Diamonds

2016: 100,000

(HIL-16): Directly working in ASM: 100,000
Estimated number of dependants: 600,000

2014: 146,000

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

Expected ASM population: 146,000 
Estimated ASM gold production: 1.9 t/a
ReferenceYearCitationArchived CopyLink
LBR-2021a2021Ndagano, P., Schneck, N., Ghate S. (2021): Liberia Artisanal and small-scale sector. Delve Country Profile. World Bank, Pact,…
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,…
HIL-162016Hilson, G. (2016): Artisanal and small-scale mining and agriculture: Exploring their links in rural sub-Saharan Africa. IIED,…
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.…
ASM DATA - Country Database Record
Country CodeLBR
ASM StatusExisting (data assessed)
Country Count1
Data year2015
Publ. year2021
ASM Miners200,000
- gold100 ,000
Inc. DevMinno
- min.100,000
- max.300,000
- female30 ,000
ASM Commoditiesgold, diamonds
  • country/liberia.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/02/02
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