Worth undermined

By V K Sharma
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015 | 03:16:47 AM

SMALL-SCALE MINING: A GLOBAL OVERVIEW Edited by Ajoy K Ghose Oxford and IBH Publishing

MINING is an important industry the world over and small-scale mining represents a major segment of the mineral industry. It con- tributes substantially in terms of value, output, con- tributions to economy and employment. In fact, it is one of the main industries that prevent rural migration. Interaction among countries involved in small-scale mining can be of immense interest and help to the developing countries.

An outcome of the International Conference on Small Scale mining held by the Geological & Metallurgical Institute of India in 1991, this is a collection of 35 papers presented by experts from 10 countries. The papers focus on the policies and prospects of small-scale mining in countries comprising the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. Measuring it on the economic and technological parameters, they examine the current status of small-scale mining world- wide and its sustainability in the developing countries.

The experiences of experts illustrate the problems related to this sector of mining. Small-scale mining has often been a target of environmentalists who hold this industry responsible for contributing to pollution. The experts agree that this sector may have contributed to increasing pollution worldwide and have suggested initiatives to minimise pollution due to small- scale mining. A rare degree of knowledge and experience is shared in this book on a subject that is often neglected by most researchers and scientists.

Another redeeming feature of the book is the authenticity given to the arguments by supporting data which is well-presented. Yet it falls short in indexing. It also misses out in certain cases the required introduction to the people whose opinions have been included. Thus one would find it difficult to follow up research with people who have made valid statements. Nevertheless, it is a thought- provoking book that will be of use to researchers and policy makers.

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