Total: Estimation of 40,000 is replicated in all publications since 2003. It is highly likely that at least the number of ASGM miners has increased along with the gold price, as in practically all other countries. As a conservative extrapolation a current total of 60,000 appears reasonable
Min/max: Data is uncertain, therefore possible variation is high → 40,000 - 80,000
Female participation: No data. Assuming ~30% like in neighboring countries → 20,000
Gold: no data. Assuming half of the ASM population → 30,000

2018: 40,000

(IGF-18): Table 3

Directly working in ASM: 40,000
Estimated number of dependants: n/a
Main Minerals: Gold, Coloured gemstones

2016: 40,000


Directly working in ASM: 40,000
Estimated number of dependants: n/a

2013: 40,000

(IIED-13): 40,000

2003: 40,000

(MMSD-03): Estimate for MMSD research country: 40,000
MMSD study by B.Drechsler (

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,…
HIL-162016Hilson, G. (2016): Artisanal and small-scale mining and agriculture: Exploring their links in rural sub-Saharan Africa. IIED,…
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),…
ITDG-012001Dreschler, B. (2001): Small-scale Mining and Sustainable Development within the SADC Region. MMSD, ITDG,…
ASM DATA - Country Database Record
Country CodeMWI
ASM StatusExisting (data assessed)
Country Count1
Data year2003
Publ. year2018
ASM Miners60,000
- gold30 ,000
Data curation extrapolated
Inc. DevMinno
- min.40,000
- max.80,000
- female20 ,000
ASM Commoditiesgold, gemstone
  • country/malawi.txt
  • Last modified: 2022/11/11
  • by Felix Hruschka