Technologies and transformations: Traces from a collective research project

Sara Geenen, Bossissi Nkuba, Ben Radley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Artisanal and small-scale gold mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is undergoing rapid and profound changes, moving from a predominantly manual to a more heavily mechanised form of production. The articles in this special issue collectively aim to understand these recent transformations and their impact on labour, productivity, taxation, health, and environment. They are the result of a collective research project carried out in the two largest mines of South Kivu Province by a multidisciplinary team of anthropologists, biologists, economists and medical doctors. In this introduction, we first of all present a deep reflection on the research process, including questions about power and ethics. We then reflect upon the empirical and theoretical contributions to emerge from the six papers that make up this special issue, which centre around the three major drivers of recent ASGM transformations: 1) technological innovation and adaptation, 2) capital investment and 3) socio-political reorganization. Finally, we highlight how humans and nature are transformed in the process.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101184
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalExtractive Industries and Society
Early online date23 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2022


  • ASGM
  • DRCongo
  • Research collaboration
  • Technologies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Economic Geology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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