Many impact investors and VCs are unfamiliar with small-scale mining. To understand small-scale mining it is best to picture a rural farmer and go from there. Here are three similarities and one difference:
Similarity 1: Miners are farmers
Many small-scale miners farm. They use mining as their main source of income but supplement it with farming activities. Miners can earn $300 per month, much greater than the $70 income from farming. There is a notable reduction in miners around planting and harvest season as miners change focus. As one miner / farmer puts it: “I farm and I dig minerals. I prefer to mine as it is more profitable and I don’t have to wait for minerals to grow to get paid!”
Similarity 2: Miners form cooperatives
Much like farming cooperatives mining cooperatives exist to serve the mining community. Mining cooperatives help miners access the marketplace through relationships with traders as well as manage licensing, formalize operations and facilitate investment. With similar challenges come similar solutions.
Similarity 3: Miners can benefit from technology too
There are some emerging companies within the Agri-tech sector like Tulaa, Twiga and Farmcrowdy using a range of technologies to improve the lives of farmers. Minexx do something similar for miners, we use technologies like blockchain, digital payments, IoT and biometrics to connect miners to the world and formalise the industry.
Difference: Miners are tied to the global economy
The foundations of our modern society is electronics. From smartphones and laptops to electric cars and wind turbines. Electronics and the minerals that power them are fundamental to our society. There is a growing movement driven by regulators and industry leaders to ensure that everyone in the supply chain is treated fairly. Afterall, a miners activity in rural DRC helps you to chat to your friends on your phone, drive to work and fly across the world.
Minexx’s MineSmart platform works for miners, mining cooperatives and traders to formalize their production and trading process. Miner’s are provided with a digital and financial identity and receive digital payments directly and fairly for the minerals they produce. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.