The global strategy of the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) includes two holistic programs with different but complementary approaches and diverse beneficiary populations. These programs are financed by multiple donors and implemented in various territories according to the needs of the mining communities. In these territories, ARM seeks resource efficiency by implementing integral strategies in alliance with local and regional actors.
The Fairmined program seeks to encourage responsible practices in artisanal and small-scale mining, facilitating access to fair supply chains and generating a positive economic, social and environmental impact in mining communities.
Beneficiaries: Formalized artisanal and small-scale mining organizations.
Tool: Fairmined Standard
Since 2012 and together with the participation of 130 players from Latin America, Africa, the United States and Asia, ARM has been developing and verifying the success of the Fairmined model. This model has made it possible to support the sustainable development of organizations and communities in the artisanal and small-scale mining sector, driven by the demand for ethically produced and marketed minerals and metals.
Through the Fairmined program, ARM supports advanced mining organizations in the training process to reach the most demanding international standards. In addition, the program goes beyond training and certification of mining organizations. It seeks to foster a local environment of mining governance through the creation of spaces for dialogue at the local level with public and private actors, civil society organizations and the miners themselves, to design and execute a joint action plan. The objective is to anchor the Fairmined model in the territories where we work, through the growth of the number of organizations committed to responsible mining practices.
Fairmined Certification more than ever is a viable process with very good perspectives for development and expansion in the world. In 2017, the demand for ethical gold in international markets exceeded the gold supply of certified mining organizations. To expand the number of certified mining organizations and the availability of Fairmined Gold, we collaborate with partners such as Solidaridad and the Better Gold Initiative, with its implementing partners in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.
CAPAZ: Supply Chains of Peace
The CAPAZ program seeks to encourage improved practices in artisanal and small-scale mining, facilitating access to legal markets, in collaboration with the community, public and private partners.
Beneficiaries: Artisanal and small-scale miners and miners with low levels of formalization, especially in conflict and high-risk areas.
One of the important lessons learned from implementing the Fairmined program in recent years has been that for many mining organizations it is difficult to meet the demanding requirements of the Fairmined Standard in the short term. If the journey towards certification is long and complicated, mining organizations are likely to lose motivation during the process. On the other hand, the costs and rigor of certification can make it unviable for groups of miners with small production and low levels of training. Therefore, ARM has advocated for years the creation of a more progressive standard, which can facilitate the entry of vulnerable groups to legal markets, either as an end in itself or as part of the long-term path towards Fairmined.
Additionally, with the introduction of the Due Diligence Guide of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the US Dodd-Frank Act and the new European Union Conflict Minerals Regulation, the industry is adopting mandatory and voluntary responsibility frameworks related to the supply of minerals. If small-scale miners are not prepared and do not meet the minimum requirements of the industry and international regulations, their participation in legal supply chains may be jeopardized, hence reinforcing their informality and exclusion.
To accompany artisanal and small-scale miners in complying with due diligence and supplying gold free of conflict and bad practices, ARM has been developing a new global program: CAPAZ (Supply Chains of Peace). The program seeks to link and empower artisanal and small-scale miners with low levels of formalization, and support them in critical issues such as due diligence, mercury management, associativity, health and safety, child labor, as well as the commercialization of its mineral.
Alongside, the program creates the foundation to promote and enable an environment for discussion, decision-making and search for multi-stakeholder solutions at the local level, to promote the equitable use of mining resources. Finally, advocacy work at the regional and national levels will allow to highlight the lessons learned at the pilot sites and obtain feedback from the national authorities to make the program viable.