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dc.contributor.author
Bugmann, Anna
dc.contributor.author
Brugger, Fritz
dc.contributor.author
Zongo, Tongnoma
dc.contributor.author
Van der Merwe, Antoinette
dc.date.accessioned
2022-07-27T12:35:23Z
dc.date.available
2022-04-04T03:07:27Z
dc.date.available
2022-07-27T12:35:23Z
dc.date.issued
2022-07
dc.identifier.issn
1462-9011
dc.identifier.issn
1873-6416
dc.identifier.other
10.1016/j.envsci.2022.03.009
en_US
dc.identifier.uri
http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11850/540686
dc.identifier.doi
10.3929/ethz-b-000540686
dc.description.abstract
Researchers and policymakers are concerned with the uncontrolled use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM). Despite the availability of alternative technologies, mercury is still the first choice to separate gold from ore on most ASGM sites. Taking the case of Burkina Faso, this mixed methods study contributes to understanding the continued use of mercury by analyzing the non-technical functions that mercury accomplishes. Applying a political ecology lens, we analyze the mechanisms that actors deploy to access benefits from ASGM and manage business-related risks, revealing dependencies on webs of power that govern the informal setting of the ASGM value chain from production to export. Our results challenge conventional wisdom about poverty-driven ASGM. We demonstrate that the sector is not simply propelled by jobless rural youth and poor farmers eager to make a lucky strike. Instead, the need of ASGM for prefinancing extraction made it as much the product of capital looking for lucrative investment. The business model of investors is based on prefinancing extraction, controlling access to market, and taking advantage of excess labor by shifting operational and financial risks upstream. In an entirely informal scheme of cascading prefinancing arrangements, mercury serves as a ‘commitment and controlling device.’ The provision of mercury guarantees that the financier can access the gold at the exact moment of recovery, regain the loan, and secure the return on investment. Phasing out mercury will remain a challenge as long as it is used as a social control device.
en_US
dc.format
application/pdf
en_US
dc.language.iso
en
en_US
dc.publisher
Elsevier
en_US
dc.rights.uri
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
dc.subject
Mercury
en_US
dc.subject
Minamata Convention
en_US
dc.subject
Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM)
en_US
dc.subject
Burkina Faso
en_US
dc.subject
Gold value chain
en_US
dc.subject
Power
en_US
dc.title
“Doing ASGM without mercury is like trying to make omelets without eggs”. Understanding the persistence of mercury use among artisanal gold miners in Burkina Faso
en_US
dc.type
Journal Article
dc.rights.license
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
dc.date.published
2022-03-23
ethz.journal.title
Environmental Science & Policy
ethz.journal.volume
133
en_US
ethz.journal.abbreviated
Environ. Sci. Policy
ethz.pages.start
87
en_US
ethz.pages.end
97
en_US
ethz.version.deposit
publishedVersion
en_US
ethz.identifier.wos
ethz.identifier.scopus
ethz.publication.place
Oxford
en_US
ethz.publication.status
published
en_US
ethz.leitzahl
ETH Zürich::00002 - ETH Zürich::00012 - Lehre und Forschung::00007 - Departemente::02045 - Dep. Geistes-, Sozial- u. Staatswiss. / Dep. of Humanities, Social and Pol.Sc.::03808 - Günther, Isabel / Günther, Isabel
en_US
ethz.date.deposited
2022-04-04T03:07:30Z
ethz.source
SCOPUS
ethz.eth
yes
en_US
ethz.availability
Open access
en_US
ethz.rosetta.installDate
2022-07-27T12:35:30Z
ethz.rosetta.lastUpdated
2022-07-27T12:35:30Z
ethz.rosetta.exportRequired
true
ethz.rosetta.versionExported
true
ethz.COinS
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