World Placer Journal - 2004 - Volume 4, pages 1-112.
The People’s Gold Rush in Mongolia
– Rise of the ‘Ninja’ Phenomenon.
Robin Grayson1, Tsevel Delgertsoo2, Bill Murray3,
Baatar Tumenbayar4, Minjin Batbayar5, Urtnasan Tuul6,
Dashzeveg Bayarbat7 & Chimed-Erdene Baatar8
(1,5,8) Eco-Minex International;(4) Eco-Minex International; (3) Murray Harrison Ltd.;
(2,6,7) Mongolian Business Development Agency MBDA
|GETTING CASH |
Two teenage girls working hard as ninjas to save enough cash to get a university education in Ulaanbaatar.
Results of the first National Survey of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in Mongolia, an illegal upsurge that caught the Government, local people, mining industry, media and international donors completely by surprise.
Known as the ‘ninjas’, in 2003 the informal gold miners were estimated to exceed 100,000 people but Government estimates are less than half this.
The ‘people’s gold rush is poverty driven, a combination of unemployed urban and rural poor, and semi-nomadic herders whose livestock was decimated due to repeated natural calamities.
The paper documents the rapid spread and technological evolution of ASM, and makes recommendations how to regulate to steer, rather than regulate to restrict, in order to harness this new engine of economic growth without excessive conflict with the formal mining sector and to minimise environmental and health impacts.
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|ESCAPE FROM POVERTY... |
This smiling woman has recovered 30$ of gold by panning using a green plastic bowl.
Some artisanal miners mine all-year, even in the harsh Mongolian winter, living in their traditional Mongolian felt tents ('gers') erected at the mine site.