Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) Gold Resources
The RMI actively supports and encourages member involvement in initiatives that create economic and development opportunities for artisanal and small-scale miners. Below is a description of responsible gold projects that RMI members, as well as smelters or refiners (SORs) can get involved in.
The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) is a leading expert on artisanal and small-scale mining established in 2004. They work to transform the sector through a holistic strategy and a wide range of services for miners, the gold industry, public entities and anyone else working with the sector. If you wish to trade or use Fairmined certified gold, learn about their flexible models for the jewelry, electronics and finance (coins and ingots) industries. Refiners, traders, manufacturers and smelters who wish to offer Fairmined Gold must follow the process in order to become an authorized Fairmined operator, which includes signing a Fairmined ”Permit to Trade”. Furthermore, companies that wish to trade products using Fairmined Gold and make market claims regarding its use must become Fairmined Licensees, thus, offering metals to consumers under the Fairmined models.
The Artisanal Gold Council (AGC) 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. The AGC is working to change the landscape of mining worldwide through education and training of artisanal and small scale gold miners to improve the health and safety of workers, as well as decrease the environmental impact of the global gold sector. Eliminating the use of mercury and complying to the OECD and Minamata regulations allows small scale miners to mine their gold safely and therefore sell their gold on the free market.
Fairtrade gold and precious metals is an initiative that offers support and access to market for small-scale miners around the world. It links consumers of jewelry with the source of their purchase, through Fairtrade standards and certification. Achieving Fairtrade certification requires small-scale mining organizations to meet rigorous Fairtrade standards on working conditions, child labor, women’s rights, clean technology, health and safety, organizational management, democratic decision-making, transparency and traceability of their mining operations and responsible environmental management, to produce a gold product that can be labelled as Fairtrade. In return for their efforts, miners gain international market access and receive a guaranteed Fairtrade Minimum Price of 95% LBMA plus a Fairtrade Premium of $2,000 per kilogram to invest in community or business development projects. Jewelry and other gold products that are created from certified gold and precious metals are stamped with the unique and exclusive Fairtrade gold Mark. This stamp indicates that the gold is fully traceable from the certified mine to the consumer.
For general information about responsible Artisanal Small-scale Mining (ASM) sourcing, see the OECD Factsheet on Sourcing gold from ASM Miners.
Partnership Africa Canada’s (PAC) Just Gold (Or Juste) project aims to develop an independent, equitable and sustainable system that brings legal, conflict-free, and traceable gold from artisanal mine sites in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to international markets. PAC has developed the Just Gold project to test models of traceability and due diligence implementation, in an effort to formalize the artisanal gold mining sector in DRC. The Just Gold project creates incentives for artisanal gold miners to channel their product to legal exporters—and eventually responsible consumers—by providing technical assistance to miners in return for legal sales. Miners are taught better exploitation techniques and offered project equipment, in return for which any gold produced must be tracked and sold through legal channels. The Just Gold Model Trading House acts as a legal conduit for Congolese artisanally produced gold by purchasing it at competitive prices, packaging it, and selling gold to a partnered legal exporter. The Just Gold project applies the OECD Due Diligence Guidance and regional certification standards of the ICGLR.
The Just Gold project is at the advanced pilot stage, with two sites in eastern DRC. In Ituri, the pilot is fully operational from mine site to exporter, with 300 miners registered in the project. In South Kivu, groundwork is being set with technical assessments and comprehensive community consultations in 2016. PAC is actively facilitating engagement between buyers interested in responsibly-sourced artisanal gold and their partnered exporter. The Just Gold project has partnered with Bunia-based exporter Muungano na Maendeleo (MnM), the first gold exporter in the country to implement due diligence standards and move towards complying with regional certification. Downstream companies, including smelters and refiners, can support the project through direct engagement: i.e. carry out due diligence as per OECD Guidance in the field and understand it to mean progressive improvements; through inventory financing and-or pre-payment, as well as through commercial agreements negotiated face-to-face with partner exporter(s).
One of the PPA’s goals is “to support the development of supply chain systems that enable Supply Chain Actors to source minerals that are validated, certified, and traced to mines that are conflict-free, and monitored and audited using agreed-upon standards and mechanisms, and that lead to scalable, responsible, self-sustaining minerals trade in the GLR."
The Responsible Artisanal Gold Solutions Forum (Forum) is a multi-stakeholder coalition seeking to learn about and address critical barriers to the production and trade of artisanal gold from the Great Lakes Region in a way that verifiably meets national, regional, and international laws and standards for responsible sourcing. The Forum is working with the pilots to deliver that gold to responsible refiners, jewelers, and other downstream users. The Forum is also engaging organizations currently designing and implementing responsible artisanal gold sourcing projects, and assess how these sources can meet requirements for downstream buyers. The Forum welcomes partners committed to supporting the Forum’s objectives and activities. For more information, please contact Jennifer Peyser (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Taylor Kennedy (email@example.com) at RESOLVE.
Solidaridad’s improvement program for small-scale mining is the largest in the world, with over 5,000 miners and an estimated 35,000 mining community members who have already benefitted from their engagement. They work in 26 mining communities, across eight countries, providing capacity building and improvement programs on the ground with Gold ASM. Contact: Jennifer Horning, International Program Coordinator for Gold (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tetra Tech and USAID Capacity Building for Responsible Mineral Trade (CBRMT) pilot projects on ASM Gold in the DRC. Tetra Tech team is knowledgeable about opportunities and challenges in securing a responsible gold supply chain in the Great Lakes Reason. Contacts: Catherine Picard (Catherine.Picard@tetratech.com) and Jon Ellermann (Jonathan.Ellermannn@tetratech.com)