Going for gold: Miners' mobility and mining motivation.


After more than two decades of depressed economic prospects, multiple discoveries of gold have attracted large numbers of prospective small-scale miners in Tanzania. While miners' movement to and activities within mining sites have become increasingly evident, their mobility patterns and material outcomes have not been the focus of academic enquiry. Based on a sample survey of two gold-mining sites in southern and central Tanzania, this chapter argues that miners' movement is often 'rushed' but rarely rash. Movement to the first site may be an adventure whereas arrival at subsequent sites is calculated with knowledge of the many risks entailed. Miners spend considerable time at each site before onward migration. Those with the highest site mobility tend to be more affluent than the others, suggesting that movement can be rewarding for those willing to 'try their luck' with the hard work and social networking demands of mining another site.


Bryceson, D.F. Going for gold: Miners’ mobility and mining motivation. In: Mining and social transformation in Africa: Mineralizing and democratizing trends in artisanal production. Routledge, Abingdon, UK (2014) 25-43. ISBN 9780415833707

Going for gold: Miners’ mobility and mining motivation.

Published 1 January 2014