Degree Name

Master of Engineering (Hons.)


Department of Civil and Mining Engineering


The main objectives of this thesis can be expressed as follows:

(i) To prove the importance of small-scale mining to the society and economy of a country,

(ii) Why and how to manage a small mine by using different approaches,

Small mines play an important role in the socio-economic system of a country. They also provide employment to the people of remote and backwaard areas. A Small scale mining industry, like tourism, is a major source of income in many countries around the world and can be a good source of foreign exchange. Historically, most large mines started on a small basis which indicates that many major ore deposits are discovered by small mining companies.

Due to the importance of small-scale mining, it is not possible to ignore this important sector of the industry. It appears that majority of small mining units are malfunctioning due to a lack of proper and experienced management and due to which they receive less attention from governments and various mining agencies throughtout the world. But, if small mine reserves are exploited properly, many areas in the globe can become prosperous and self sufficient.

The main objective of conducting this research was to identify the problems faced by small-scale mining operations and suggesting probable solutions. The research by the author indicates that in various countries very little work has been done on the management of small mines Although attention was focussed on the small mining industry in the Asia-Pacific region it has been attempted seriously to cite a few examples from other countries such as India, Canada, and the US, where the small mining industry industry plays a significant role in the economy, to prove its importance.

Since, no experimental work was involved due to the nature of the project the attention was focused on a desktop study. It was also decided to emphasise small gold mines due to its importance and high unit value in the world market . The information collected during the process of this research showed that the areas like mine finance, infrastructure, cost analysis, exploration, mme investment analysis, and different mining and processing methods should be addressed.

The author believes that further research should be carried out,in such areas as computer application, central milling facilities, labour training and education programs. The author also believes that an owner of a small gold mine should be properly informed by the state authorities and I or different mining agencies regarding pricing mechanisms.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.