Since 2016, Mauritania is experiencing a major gold rush in the Inchiri (Chami) region and started to 2017 in the Tiris Zemmour (Chegatt, Zouerate) region. The positive effects of gold mining in Mauritania are many and that is why the gouvernment encourages the development of the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector. Indeed, ASGM offers a direct way of subsistence to at least 50.000 mauritanian citizens, with a secondary economy probably 2 or 3 times more important. The practice of ASGM can be formal or informal, but in both cases it represents a significant source of income for the gouvernment. Pratically speaking, ASGM allows the creation of about 45 000 direct employment and about 100 000 indirect employment in a country where the unemployment rate is very high.
However, this sector lacks of national and international regulations and standards and also of equipments and formations for the miners and the people involved in this sector. This lack of supervision leads to different which can be environmnetal, sanitary and security with for example the use of mercury that is used a lot during the processing of the gold represents a significant environmental and sanitary risk. Also, the deficit of rules leads to the development of informal ways of working as the black market for buying and selling gold.
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