Voices from the Mine

MONDAY, OCTOBER 21 at 6:00pm | Fireside Lounge, Dana Commons

Diamond mining is Sierra Leone’s most lucrative export industry, with an annual production of up to $US 250 million. Due to the challenges associated with the informal and unregulated nature of the artisanal mining sector, only a fraction of this wealth returns to the areas where diamonds are mined. While international traders reap vast rewards, for those in the mining pits, poverty and hardship remain. This session will begin with the presentation of a new 33-minute documentary film by Roy Maconachie from the University of Bath’s Centre for Development Studies: Voices from the mine: Artisanal diamonds and resource governance in Sierra Leone. Based on two years of fieldwork in Kono District in Sierra Leone, the film follows the pathway of artisanal diamonds from mine to market, offers an insider’s perspective of the challenges of formalizing the sector, and explores why exploitation continues to persist at the bottom of the chain. Offering testimonies from a wide range of stakeholders both in Sierra Leone and Antwerp, Belgium, one of the world’s oldest and most established diamond trading hubs, the governance challenges in artisanal mining are critically explored. 

About Roy Maconachie

Roy Maconachie is a Reader in International Development in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath. His research in Sub-Saharan Africa explores the social, political and economic aspects of natural resource management, and their relationships to wider societal change. Much of his recent work has had a particular focus on the extractive industries, livelihood change and social conflict in West Africa. He has been carrying out field-based research in Sierra Leone for 16 years, and has spent much of this time working with artisanal diamond miners. Roy holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Sussex.  Before joining Bath, he held postdoctoral research fellowships at IDPM, University of Manchester and IDS, Sussex. 


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Sponsored by A new Earth conversation (NEC), the Clark University Graduate School of Geography, and The Clark Center for the Study of Natural Resource Extraction and Society (Extractives@Clark).