The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) and RESOLVE have released a code to facilitate increased responsible sourcing from artisanal miners, while contributing to improved social and environmental performance of artisanal and small scale mining sector.
September 18, 2018
Artisanal miners produce 20% of the world’s gold, but the complexities of risk management for artisanal sources often deter refiners, brands, and other customers committed to responsible supply chain management. At the same time, international norms such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) minerals sourcing guidance encourage proactive engagement with the artisanal sector to support development. While general guidance exists, along with leadership-level standards for top-performing mines such as Fairmined and Fairtrade, there has not been a set of objective criteria for baseline “market acceptability” of artisanal gold.
“For global minerals supply chains, change and market engagement is most critically needed in the places that face the greatest challenges” . “CRAFT is innovative as a multi-stakeholder vetted, open source tool to help companies support the economies of artisanal communities, while following good risk management practice and ensuring they are not contributing to illicit trade or human rights abuses”.
The Code of Risk mitigation for Artisanal and small-scale miners engaging in Formal Trade (CRAFT) bridges this gap and can help expand trade between legitimate artisanal producers and refiners, jewelers, electronics companies, banks, and other supply chain actors. The code helps both buyers and miners to assess critical social and environmental risks – such as child labor, illicit trade, and uncontrolled use of chemicals, among others – in artisanal supply chains. The code is progressive, defining clear criteria for critical risks while assessing opportunities for – and making commitments to – mitigate risks and improve on other social, environmental and safety practices.
At the same time, CRAFT offers a road map to help artisanal miners understand practices and systems needed to engage with global markets, thereby offering access to legitimate buyers and better trading conditions. In 2017 and 2018, ARM piloted the code at two artisanal gold sites in Colombia, including a women’s association who recently completed their first CRAFT sale in July to a local refiner who supplies global refiners. The code can be used by implementing organizations to support their work in formalizing and improving conditions for artisanal miners who live in vulnerable situations and their communities.
CRAFT was designed to closely reflect the risks outlined in the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, as well as other major issues of concern from industry and civil society.
The code was developed under guidance from artisanal miners from 5 countries; non-profit organizations like Pact and Solidaridad who work directly with miners; industry organizations such as the London Bullion Market Association, Responsible Jewellery Council, Intel, Responsible Minerals Initiative, Swiss Better Gold Association, Valcambi, and Argor-Heraeus; United Nations Environment Programme; the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance; and several independent technical experts.
RESOLVE and ARM sought additional input through a global stakeholder consultation process involving over 400 individuals from industry, mining communities, civil society, and governments from over 18 countries spanning 6 continents.
Under CRAFT, buyers, governments, NGOs, and private sector companies working with artisanal supply chains can organize “CRAFT schemes,” which apply the code to reflect the specific legal and technical requirements of the geographies and minerals in which they are working. Miners will produce a CRAFT report to demonstrate conformity with the requirements of CRAFT, to support further due diligence by clients further downstream in the supply chain.
The European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM) provided funding to ARM and RESOLVE to develop and consult the CRAFT. EPRM has also pledged support for a second phase, during which ARM and RESOLVE will develop further criteria on medium and lower risk issues, and develop a “CRAFT Impact Marketplace” to help potential buyers, donors, and impact investors connect with CRAFT-conformant mines.
CRAFT is now available for download in English, French, and Spanish at craftmines.org. To encourage uptake, alignment, and expanded support for the artisanal sector, CRAFT was developed as an open-source code and released under the Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 license; it may be used and adapted by any stakeholder in artisanal supply chains under the terms of this license.