Artisinal mining starts with a miner who prospects sites and tests for sample rocks that will indicate diamonds presence.If there is a reasonable expectation diamonds are present, the miner will bring 3-15 diggers to open a pit,dig out the soil,and wash and sift it to separate potential diamonds from sediment.This work can be back-breaking,done by hand in areas that are often infested with malaria. While the diggers will receive a 50% split, if there is a diamond strike neither receives anything
This project will allow the diggers to clear the pits more quickly using water pumps, thus increasing their output while lessening the time they spend on their knees for days in the pits. It will also provide financial management skills to the diggers as well as the miners and female members of the families. While the project will work with approximately 40 families, it will be replicated in other communities if it is successful.
The project is a partnership between the Federation of Miners and Mineworkers Association (FOMAL) and Rice and Rights, a prominent civil society organization in Liberia. Because FOMAL represents over 10,000 miners and mineworkers, the project has the potential to reach thousands of miners if it is successful and the association is able to replicate it.