Conference: Between the plough and the pick: informal mining in the contemporary world

Dates & times

Thu 5 November — Fri 6 November 2015, 9.00 am–5.00 pm


Lecture Theatre 1 (APCD Theatre), Ground floor, Hedley Bull Centre, Building 130, Cnr Garran Rd and Liversidge St, ANU




The Crawford school is hosting what promises to be a fascinating conference on small scale mining in places including India on the 5th and 6th of November.

Millions of people in economically poor countries are engaged in mineral extractive practices today. These informal extractive practices have been described as Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM), described here as informal mining. Those who engage in these practices are often the poorest and most exploited labourers, performing the most insecure and dangerous tasks. They produce enormous amounts of mineral resources and in the process establish a livelihood (and often a path out of poverty).

These miners are inextricably engaged with global commodity values and supply chains, and are intimately involved in the production of new extractive territories and rural economies. Their labour re-shapes agrarian communities and landscapes of resource access and control. Collectively, these miners have also been redefining our understanding of the political economies, political ecologies, and resource geographies of commodity extraction. This social and economic milieu holds significant implications for scholarly understandings of contemporary mineral-dependent livelihoods, agrarian transitions, informality, and the social meanings of destitution and poverty.

You are invited to participate in this international conference that aims to engage with the themes around agrarian transition, the political ecology of mineral extraction, the global processes driving the informalisation of mining, the roles played by local social-political-historical context, and aspects of labour processes. The conference will also disseminate the results of two ARC research projects on investigating informal mining in India, Indonesia and Lao PDR: ‘Beyond the Resource Curse’ (Discovery Project, led by Dr Kuntala Lahiri- Dutt) and ‘Going for Gold’ (Linkage Project, led by Dr Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt and Dr Keith Barney).


Professor Saleem Ali, University of Queensland
Professor Nancy Peluso, University of California
Berkeley; Professor Gavin Hilson, University of Surrey
Dr Deborah Fahy Bryceson, University of Edinburgh

More information about the two projects:

Please note conference registration will take place in the Foyer, Lecture Theatre 1 (APCD Theatre), Ground floor, Hedley Bull Centre, Building 130, at 4pm on Wednesday 4 November.



Please register by 4 November 2015

Crawford School events


Dr Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt
6125 4343

Updated:  29 October 2015/ Responsible Officer:  SARI director/ Page Contact:  SARI director