Mineral exploration is the process of finding commercially viable concentrations of minerals / ores to mine. Mineral exploration is a much more intensive, organized and professional form of mineral prospecting.

    However there is one more way how to mine minerals called artisanal or small scale mining usually typical for the rural poor in many developing countries.

    An artisanal miners are not officially employed by a mining company, but they do hard work with hand tools independently. Artisanal miners often undertake the activity of mining seasonally – for example crops are planted in the rainy season, and mining is pursued in the dry season. However, they also frequently travel to mining areas and work year round.

    An estimated 13 - 20 million men, women, and children from over 50 developing countries are directly engaged in the artisanal mining sector.

    Africa Project