Covid19 Impact

RBA Foundation & RMI Funds

The RBA Foundation was established in 2015 to support RBA’s charitable, scientific and educational activities by improving the public’s ability to consider social, environmental, and economic responsibility within supply chains to make informed consumer decisions. The Foundation is recognized as a Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and therefore may receive tax-deductible charitable contributions from individuals and corporations. These contributions enable RBA and the Foundation to leverage opportunities for public funding to develop and implement special programs, research projects, tools and other initiatives for public benefit, in the area of responsible mineral sourcing.

The Foundation supports the charitable, scientific, and educational purposes of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) a project of RBA.

The principal purposes for contributions made to the Foundation in support of RMI are:

  • To maintain the Responsible Minerals Assurance Process (RMAP) Audit Fund, which covers the initial assessments for new RMAP auditees, financial assistance for participating audites, and the publication of assessment results on the RMI's website.
  • To support relevant upstream due diligence activities.
  • To develop and publicly disseminate data, guidance, training, and tools for responsible sourcing.

Making a Donation

Donations to the Foundation can be made via check or wire transfer. Contributing companies will receive a letter from the Foundation thanking them for their donation and support of RMI. The acknowledgement letter will describe the approximate impact of their donation in terms of the number of initial audits that will be paid for by the donation. Please note that the Foundation deducts 2% of the donation for operational costs. If you have any questions, please contact Catherine Tyson.


Funding Opportunities

ITSCI Campaign


Full Title: Fundraising Campaign to Support ITSCI

Description: The ITSCI Program for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains is a unique, large-scale joint initiative contributing to better governance, human rights and stability in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Uganda. ITSCI supports member companies’ implementation of due diligence in 3T supply chains by working with governments, business and civil society, and providing locally based expert teams on the ground. Through ITSCI’s work, more than 6,500 mineral shipments from high-risk areas have been delivered to smelters and successfully audited under the RMI’s Responsible Minerals Assurance Process (RMAP). ITSCI’s human resource and logistical network in remote mining areas provides a unique opportunity for contributors to invest in making positive differences to mining communities’ livelihoods and national economies.

Timeline: Until December 31, 2020

Click here for more information on how to contribute.

Click here to read ITSCI’s campaign announcement.

BSP COVID-19 Fundraising


Full Title: Better Sourcing Program (BSP) COVID-19 Fundraising

Description: BSP is an RMI-recognized Upstream Assurance Mechanism currently providing due diligence support to smelters sourcing from multiple 3TG ASM sites in the DRC and Rwanda. We do so through permanent on-site monitoring and digital traceability from pit level to export. The data is translated into corrective action plans (CAPs) workshopped with the mining operators towards continuous improvement. With BSP being 100% levy-financed and many of our 3T exporting clients across the African Great Lakes region still assessing their ability to continue to pay us, we are requesting emergency funding to be able to continue to provide our work on upstream risk mitigation and impact generation. Our ask is that donors cover 50,000 US$ per month for the months of May, June, and July. We have seen strong progress on risk reduction and CAP implementation over the past months and the risk exists that a discontinuation of monitoring and BSP presence on-site could endanger this structural progress. Please contact nicholas@rcsglobal.com if you would like to donate.

Timeline: Emergency funding was requested to the OECD MSG on April 29. The funding is needed for the period May-July 2020.

RMAP Audit Fund & Upstream Due Diligence


RMAP Audit Fund

Audit Fund for Participating Smelters and Refiners

  • This fund needs member support on on-going basis to promote entry into the RMAP program

Financial Assistance for Re-Assessments

  • To help address any financial barriers smaller smelters and refiners may face in considering undergoing RMAP re-assessment

Upstream Due Diligence Smelter Fund

The RMI has created a fund for smelters and refiners to offset the costs of mine-level assessments in conflict-affected and high-risk areas that are not already covered by an upstream assurance mechanism

  • Minimum threshold met – fund is open for applications
  • More support is needed to sustain smelter upstream due diligence

Click here for additional information.

RMI-Pact Partnership


Full Title: RMI-Pact Partnership for supporting Alternative Livelihoods through a Vocational training program

Description: The RBA Foundation is currently supporting a vocational training program located in the cobalt mining communities in the DRC. Specifically, the program is operating in six communities in Kolwezi and provides vocational skills for at risk youth to provide an alternative to mining and break the cycle of poverty for recipients and their families. Through the RBA Foundation and the support of RBA members, the program has graduated 194 at-risk youth from the apprenticeship program since 2017, with 98% reporting they have no engaged in mining activities since graduation.

Timeline: Open until November 2020 (Seeking Phase 5 funding)

Click here to view Pact's fact sheet with additional information.

RMI-RCS Global Strategic Partnership


Full Title: RMI-RCS Global Strategic Partnership to Scale “Better Mining” Cobalt ASM Monitoring and Continual Improvement Plans

Description: The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) has partnered with RCS Global Group (RCS) to expand the Better Mining Program to additional copper and cobalt ASM sites in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Better Mining is an ASM mine monitoring program that collects and analyses digital responsible sourcing data on ASM sites and translates this data into quantifiable improvements on and around those sites. To date, the Better Mining Program has been deployed at three cobalt and copper ASM sites since January 2019. At these sites, there has been a quantifiable reduction of risks and improvement of conditions. RMI and RCS aim to reach twelve additional sites over the next two years through expansion of the Program.

Timeline: Open through 2023

Click here to view the Better Mining Program fact sheet.

ASM Workgroup Projects


Description: While artisanal mining is a potential driver of development in many regions of the world, the informal nature of ASM as well as its association with human rights abuses such as child labor pose challenge to downstream companies looking to responsibly source mined materials. In response to these challenges, the Responsible Minerals Initiative has established a Workgroup for members and non-member stakeholders that seek to collaborate in the development of a formalized approach to ASM. This Workgroup aims to engage and improve occupational health and safety as well as environmental practices on ASM sites and living conditions in mining communities.

Timeline: Open (contact RMI staff for more information about current pilot projects and funding needs)

RMI Members can find out more here.

Customized Projects


Description: RMI members can sponsor customized projects or support new RMI initiatives. For example, members can finance the development of animated trainings available to specific supply chain actors in various languages; or support the development of new RMI services, like the Minerals Grievance Platform. Indeed, several of RMI’s newest initiatives and services have been made available through member support. Funding varies by project, and RMI recommends that interested members reach out to RMI staff to discuss needs, opportunities and programmatic priorities.

Timeline: Open (contact RMI staff for more information about current pilot projects and funding needs)

RMI Members can find out more here.