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Department of small scale enterprise promotionDepartment of mining and environment



Mining and
Environmental Protection

Range of Services

The department offers a wide range of consulting services in the mining and processing of mineral resources.

We have extensive experience in the fields of base metals mining (lead, zinc, tin, silver, wolfram, antimony), precious metals, coal, precious stones and industrial minerals.

Our expertise focuses on the following areas:
• Promotion of small- and medium-scale mining operations,
• Mineral processing technology,
• Environmental protection during mining,
• Supporting and strenghtening mining-related institutions,
• Environmental impact assessment (EIA),
• Establishment of an encouraging business environment
• Social support measures and organisation of miners
• Development of an adequate legal framework:

The department is involved in the conception, planning, evaluation, organization and execution of international cooperation projects. Primary emphasis is placed on finding comprehensive and sustainable solutions.

Project Approach

It is our opinion that promoting the activities of small- and medium-scale mining can only be effectively realized if the concept is successful in recognizing and solving the diverse and unique problems encountered in this subsector. This involves dealing with aspects of technology, business organization, personnel, financing, marketing and law.
Improving these basic conditions is the purpose behind the applied-technology projects performed by the mining and environmental protection department (MEDP).
Beneficiation and further processing of mineral raw material: In finding solutions for projects involving preparation and secondary processing of raw materials, the department focusses on proven, often historical or region-specific methods, developing them further through the integration of modern components.

The resulting solutions are very often especially appropriate for use in developing countries because they offer a combination of economic advantages, environmentally-acceptable production methods and reasonable energy demands.
Additionally, such solutions are more labor-intensive and less capital-intensive, two qualities which favorably address the needs of developing countries.
An example of this is the project to improve the traditional beehive coal-coking operation in Colombia, where the concept proposed for the secondary burning of the coke-oven gas emissions with the aid of a steam-turbine, was developed into a project. In addition to the generation of energy, this concept also lead to a significant reduction in emitted pollutants.
Environmental protection measures: Finding ways to make environmental protection financially affordable for small-scale mining operations is the goal of a number of the departmentís projects. Solutions are sought by introducing environmentally-favorable technology through the training and education of workers, increased work safety measures, higher productivity by means of semi-mechanization of the operations, and assistance in legalizing the mines; these measures contribute towards reducing the environmental impact of small-scale mining. One key focus is on mercury and cyanide problems. See our "Mercury and Cyanide references".

Support and strengthening of mining-related institutions: In all projects, the mining and environmental protection department works closely with agencies such as ministries, regional development offices, mining and environmental authorities, as well as non-governmental organizations; doing so, the expertise and organizational ability of these agencies, and their assumption of regulatory powers, should be improved so that they can independently supervise and carry out future programs.
Environmental Impact Assessment: Conducting environmental impact assessment (EIA) and environmental sector studies is another major area of concern within the departmentís line of services. Eenvironmental management plans and monitoring and control concepts are designed to facilitate the implementation of better practices in mining procedures.

Establishment of an encouraging business environment: The provision of fair marketing conditions, the establishment of straight forward business registration and administration, providing the access to finance and governmental extension services are seen as key elements for the promotion and support of private sector activities in small scale mining.

Social support measures and organisation of miners: Promoting artisanal and small scale mining as a motor of rural development includes aspects such as the elimination of child labour, the generation of additional income opportunities within and outside the mining sector, the minimisation of conflicts and a gender sensitive approach towards sustainable community development.

Development of an adequate legal framework: Long term and sustained development of a formal artisanal and small scale mining sector are only possible if an encouraging and fair legal framework for the ASM sector is enforced. Access to mining titles, to information and governmental services as well as good governance are key issues.

Capacity building through formal and non formal qualification: The training of miners, especially those from the artisanal and small-scale mining sector, the training of trainers and the training of staff from the national, regional and local authorities is a key focus of Projekt-Consult GmbH´s services. From the implementation of workshops and seminars over the development of curricula and didactic materials, the establishment of training facilities and capacities up to the concept development and feasibility studies for mining schools are professionally covered by our company. Ongoing activities are currently performed in Bolivia (for Apemin 2), Senegal (support to artisanal gold mining), Papua New Guinea (establishment of training courses at three training centres) and Afghanistan (support of the Afghan Geological Survey).

Departmentís Activities (Extract):

  • Support of the Afghan Geological Survey with training, database development, generation of geological field data and investment promotion, Afghanistan
  • Provision of training course development, training of trainers and vocational training of miners in the framework of the Mineral Sector Support Project, Papua New Guinea
  • Advising the Apemin 2 project in Bolivia on the establishment of a mining school for Bolivia
  • Execution of institutional support, health care, environmental education and technical training in the gold mining areas of eastern Senegal
  • Advisory services to De Beers in developing the Mwadui Community Diamond Partnership Programme, Tanzania
  • Advising the Minerals Commission for institutional strengthening and capacity building in Ghana
  • Implementation of a long term program to normalise the artisanal mining in Mongolia, focusing on the development of a legal framework, the strengthening and establishment of organizational structures and the transfer of knowledge and skills (see project doc, 150kB pdf)
  • Development of a framework for guidance notes for governments on the formalisation and development of sustainable of artisanal and small scale mining activities (for CASM/WB)
  • Design study for a pilot project on the development of barite mining under the WB mining sector project in Nigeria
  • lobal evaluation of actions against child labour in mining and provision of recommendations for future projects to eliminate child labour (for ILO)
  • Revision of global donor and government funded activities focusing on artisanal and small scale mining in order to upgrade the CASM inventory
  • Training of gem stone miners in prospecting and exploration, exploitation, evaluation of gem stones and gem stone marketing in Sri Lanka
  • Management and technical assistance of a project to reduce the environmental impact of small scale brick production in Northern Vietnam
  • Assessment of the gold mining situation and first application of the tool kit for the development of base line studies in African small scale mining in Birmin Gwari, Nigeria
  • Assistance to the mining sector diversification project in Zambia
  • Advisory for the Development of a Small-Scale Mining Regulation in Madagascar.
  • Integrated environmental management in artisanal mining areas in Peru.
  • Regional development in the former mining centres of the Bolivian highlands including small-scale mining promotion, environmental rehabilitation, diversification and qualification, social infrastructure and strengthening of the public society in Bolivia.
  • Development of a permanent training system for environmental auditors and environmental specialists in the mining and metalurgical industry of Peru.
  • Fight agains „Mercury Contamination from Gold Mining in the Tapajos and Madeira River Basins, Brazilian Amazonia.
  • Promotion of small-scale gold and diamond mining in Ghana.
  • Environmental protection in gold mining in Ecuador.
  • Integrated environmental management in small-scale mining in Bolivia.
  • Environmental impact evaluation on the mining of semi-precious stones in Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil.
  • Feasibility study for a project to technically improve traditional small coking operations that reduce emissions and produce energy in Cundinamarca/Colombia.
  • Consulting work in gold placer mining as part of the project
  • Pequeños Proyectos Productivos“, Costa Pacifica, Colombia.
  • Mining and economic geology within the scope of the integrated development project in the catchment area of the rivers Kayanga/Geba and Kolibra/Corubal in Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Senegal.
  • Preliminary evaluation of a project to provide consulting services for small-scale mining of gold and diamonds, Republic of Central Africa.
  • Conceptual planning and presentation of sensitizing and information seminars to promote small-scale mining in selected countries.
  • Newly-revised EIA-sector guide lines „Reconnaissance, prospection and exploration“, „Surface Mining“ and „Underground Mining“.

A lot of the experiences of our department has been published in books. Please find a selection below:

Priester, Michael/Hentschel, Thomas: Small-Scale Gold-Mining. Processing Techniques in Developing Countries. GATE, Vieweg-Verlag Braunschweig 1992, ISBN 3-528-02064-4.

Priester, Michael/Hentschel, Thomas/Benthin, Bernd: Pequeña Minería - Tecnicas y Procesos para la pequeña minería en paises en desarrollo. GATE, Vieweg-Verlag Braunschweig 1992, ISBN 3-528-02066-0.

Priester, Michael/Hentschel, Thomas/Benthin, Bernd: Tools for Mining. Techniques and Processes for Small Scale Mining. Vieweg-Verlag Braunschweig 1993, ISBN 3-528-02077-6. (more details online)

Wotruba, H./ Hruschka, F./Hentschel, T./Priester, M.: Manejo ambiental en la pequeña minería, MEDMIN, COSUDE, La Paz, Bolivien 1998, ISBN 3-905299-71-7

Publicación "en línea" del Libro "Manejo Ambiental en la Pequeña Minería", editado por MEDMIN (Cosude - Projekt-Consult) en Bolivia en 1998. Este libro sigue siendo una de las documentaciones más exhaustivas de experiencias prácticas en proyectos de desarrollo relacionados con el sector de pequeña minería y minería artesanal en América Latina, Asia y África. (2000/2001)

Hentschel, Th./Hruschka, F./Priester, M.: Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: Challenges and opportunities; IIED, Geneva 2004, paperback 80 pages, ISBN: 1 84369 470 0

Wotruba, H./ Hruschka, F./Livan, K./Hentschel, T./Priester, M.: Environmental Management in Small-Scale Mining, MEDMIN, CASM, SDC, La Paz, Bolivia 2005, ISBN 3-905399-71-7

Links to projects:
Project Descriptions:

GAMA - Peru
APEMIN - Bolivia
Small-Scale Mining Regulation - Madagascar
Promotion of Small-Scale Gold and Diamond Mining - Ghana

Project Websites:

see page "Related Links"
(Ghana, Bolivia,
Peru, Madagascar)