Technologies and transformations: Traces from a collective research project

Sara Geenen, Bossissi Nkuba, Ben Radley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


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

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This special issue is the product of two research projects, and a team of fourteen researchers. The first project is part of a research programme entitled Winners and Losers from Globalization and Market Integration, funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and the National Foundation for Scientific Research (FNRS) through its EOS programme (G056718N). A sub-project under the coordination of Sara Geenen focuses on technological change in artisanal and small-scale mining. The second is a project on health and environment in ASGM, funded by the Global Minds programme of the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR-UOS) through the University of Antwerp in Belgium. This action research project aims not only to understand the health and environmental situation in the mines, but also to propose and communicate best practices to miners and policymakers through sensitization.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • ASGM
  • DRCongo
  • Research collaboration
  • Technologies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Technologies and transformations: Traces from a collective research project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this