Total: GEF-21 estimations appear low (but possibly only for gold), because numbers of up to 20,000 were already reported in ILO-99 and gold mining has certainly increased in the past two decades! Using 3rd quartile of range as estimation → 35,000
Min/max: Average of GEF-21 is taken as minimum, as it matches earlier data. Maximum set at GEF-21 maximum → 30,000 - 40,000
Female participation: Rather indirectly. Possibly a few female miner or mine owner → 2,000 (?)
Gold: no data, but likely majority ASGM miners and some few diamong miner → 30,000 (i.e. = average of GEF-21 data)

2021: 20,000 - 40,000 ASGM


People employed in ASGM: 20,000 - 40,000
Gold produced (kg/year): 16,000
Mercury released (kg/year): 62,000

2018: 20,000

(IGF-18): 20,000

2014: 28,000

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

Expected ASM population: 28,000 
Estimated ASM gold production: 15 t/a

1999: 17,500

(ILO-99): Employment: 15,000 - 20,000
Number of mines: n/a
Illegal mines: n/a

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.…
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 CodeSUR
ASM StatusExisting (data assessed)
Country Count1
Data year2021
Publ. year2021
ASM Miners35,000
- gold30 ,000
Data curation extrapolated
Inc. DevMinno
- min.30,000
- max.40,000
- female2 ,000
ASM Commoditiesgold, diamonds
  • country/suriname.txt
  • Last modified: 2022/10/27
  • by Felix Hruschka