Follow this link for an informative video on artisanal and small scale gold mining. Tens of millions of people around the world mine and process gold to make a living. Most of these miners are subsistence miners, only producing enough to support their immediate family. Health and environment problems plague the industry and crime is a major issue in many developing countries.
The Artisanal Gold Council (http://www.artisanalgold.org/) is a not-for-profit dedicated to improving the opportunities, environment, and health of the millions of people involved in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in the developing world.
Their website is full of interesting information on the small scale industry and the activities of the AGC. There are also links to other like minded government and NGO bodies: