Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is a thriving industry in the Philippines, with an estimated 300,000–500,000 miners operating in more than 30 provinces across the country. The Philippines is among the top 20 producers of gold worldwide, and 70 percent of its gold is produced by artisanal and small-scale miners.
planetGOLD project sites in Philippines
Local communities in many mining areas have flourished by setting up complementary businesses that support mining operations and provide a further source of income. In addition to the miners directly involved in the supply chain, the ASGM sector supports the livelihood of another 2 million people.
However, many artisanal and small-scale miners use mercury in the gold extraction process—generating the country’s largest source of mercury emissions while directly exposing themselves, their families, and communities to the highly toxic substance. ASGM operations that use mercury also contaminate nearby soil, crops, oceans, fish, and other aquatic life upon which local populations rely.
Key Figures from The Philippines
300,000-500,000 miners work in ASGM
2 million people's livelihoods are supported by ASGM
70% of the country's gold is produced by ASGM
30 out of 81 provinces have ASGM operations
The Philippines’ Approach
The planetGOLD Philippines project is working toward eliminating mercury in the ASGM sector by using a bottom-up approach, involving members of the ASGM sector directly in the creation and implementation of policies and practices to sustainably improve mining operations and livelihoods. In partnership with the national government, the project team is working to create an enabling environment for a formalized ASGM sector that enhances community development, improves productivity, and eliminates the use of mercury.
Support formalization of the ASGM sector
Help miners access financing and international gold markets
Reduce mercury releases in mining communities
Educate and raise awareness
Contact planetGOLD Philippines
The planetGOLD Philippines project is implemented by the UN Environment Programme, UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and executed by the Artisanal Gold Council (AGC) in partnership with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).
Abigail D. Ocate
National Project Manager
Artisanal Gold Council
Contact numbers: (63-2) 936 – 0500/+63 9054537150
Shyne S. Catedral
Communications Assistant (Philippines)
Artisanal Gold Council
Contact numbers: (63-2) 936 – 0500/+63 9127839985
3rd Floor, New Multi-Purpose Bldg., MGB Compound, North Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, 1128 Metro Manila