This paper argues that a formalised small-scale gold mining sector could ameliorate Sierra Leone's emerging 'crisis of youth'. Burgeoning pockets of unemployed young men now found scattered throughout the country, the mobilisation of whom proved instrumental in prolonging civil war in the 1990s, have fuelled fresh concerns about renewed violence. If supported, small-scale gold mining could provide immediate economic relief in the form of direct employment and downstream activities. Its promotion, however, is contingent upon a radical change in mindset in policymaking circles. Gold mining continues to be associated with diamond mining, an industry which perpetuated the country's civil war.