Frequently asked questions regarding the Fairmined Certification process

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1. What is the Fairmined Label?

2. How can ASMOs receive guidance in order to achieve Fairmined Certification?

3. What is the application for Fairmined Certification?

4. How long does the Fairmined Certification process take?

5. What does the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) evaluate in the application?

6. How much does Fairmined Certification cost?

7. Why invest resources in the Fairmined Certification process?

8. What does the auditing cost depend on?

9. How long does an audit take?

10. What are the steps to follow if the ASMO has any complaints or disagrees with the audit's results?

11. When can the ASMO begin to sell Fairmined certified gold?

12. Who helps the ASMO connects to responsible supply chains?

13. What is the renovation cycle for an ASMO's certification? How long is the certification valid?

14. Who can I contact in the Alliance for Responsible Mining to learn more about Fairmined Certification?

 

 

1. What is the Fairmined Label?

Fairmined is an assurancelabel that certifies that the gold comes from a certified ASMO and proves that the organization is a responsible mining organization. In order to use the Fairmined Label an ASMO must comply with the Fairmined Standard.

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2. How can ASMOs receive guidance in order to achieve Fairmined Certification?

First of all, ARM will introduce you to the benefits of Fairmined Certification and offer guidance to understand the entry-level requirements and to complete the application forms.
An example: we can diagnose the ASMO's compliance status with the Standard's entry-level requirements, which will enable the ASMO to identify where it lacks compliance in order to improve upon those points. We offer specific tailor made training programs for identified needs and the possibility of a pre-audit for the ASMO to be prepared for the certification audit.
Subsequently, once certified, we provide support on the path of progressive compliance.

Contact us to get the necessary guidance.

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3. What is the application for Fairmined Certification?

The application is the first step to start the Certification process. The ASMO does an assessment of this application. It is a due diligence process of essential criteria to apply for certification and ensure the ASMO has the community-based artisanal and small-scale nature

The ASMO can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive more information or it can access the Steps towards Fairmined Certification section and directly download the Application Form from our webpage, fill it out, attach the required documents stipulated on the list and send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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4 How long does the Fairmined Certification process take?

We invite you to download the Process and timelines of the Fairmined Certification; here you will find the description of each stage with the stipulated time frames by ARM and IMO Swiss AG. However, this depends on the ASMO's commitment and dedication so that all documents are available and all payments, deadlines and presentation of objective evidence are met on time, as agreed upon with the certification body. 

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5. What does the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) evaluate in the application?

ARM's Applications Committee evaluates:

- If the documentation is duly filled out and complete
- If the ASMO operates legally
- If the miners register and mines and processing plant registries are complete for the certification body to define the audit's scope and costs
- If the miners and the aspiring organization really qualify as artisanal and small-scale mining, as defined by the Standard.
- Whether the ASMO operates or not in sensible areas or ecosystems.
- Whether the ASMO supports or directly or indirectly finances illegal groups or armed groups.

ARM will contact the ASMO directly if there are any doubts or incomplete documents.

ARM agrees to review and send the application within 15 days of receiving it to IMOswiss AG, which will then establish contact with the ASMO in order to signthe certification contract, send the proposal and schedule the audit.

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6. How much does Fairmined Certification cost?

Any ASMO that makes the decision of achieving Fairmined Certification takes on certain important responsibilities that requires dedication and passion. This is what distinguishes responsible miners..  
As mentioned above, there are entry-level requirements needed to achieve Certification, which is why the ASMO must make certain investments and efforts to ensure compliance with the entry-level requirements to the Certification System.
Once prepared, the ASMO must assume the cost of the auditing and certification services by IMOswiss AG. An ASMO must have the conditions to cover the certification expenses of the first audit and the following annual audits.
Auditing and certification costs are estimated according to the ASMO's size and complexity and the number of work areas that need to be inspected, such as: mines, processing plants, etc. The final rate is calculated based on IMOswiss AG's public rate.

Furthermore, in order to advance on the continuous improvement path of the progressive requirements included in the Fairmined Standard, additional efforts  are required. These can be covered by the improved income or the Fairmined Premium and depends on the decisions taken by the Fairmined Premium Committee and the ASMO.

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7. Why invest resources in the Fairmined Certification process?

Our Fairmined Standard model enables miners to associate themselves under the umbrella of a single ASMO or several ASMOs of the same region in order to share costs. The model is designed so that certification and auditing expenses are justified throughout your participation in the Fairmined Certification System:

By receiving a fair price for Fairmined precious metals (higher than (or at least equal to) 95%) of the international price stated by the London Bullion Market Association.
•    By receiving a Fairmined Premium as an additional resource paid for long-term investment on social, economic and environmental sustainable development By receiving down payments from buyers
•    By accessing new ethical markets that enable the development of long-term business relations with Fairmined Gold buyers

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8. What does the auditing cost depend on?

The cost of the documentary and physical audit performedby the independent third-party certification body depends on:

- The country where the ASMO is located
- The number of miners the ASMO and its System of Production include
- The number and size of the ASMO's mines and processing plants
- The distance and transportation between sites

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9. How long does an audit take?

An audit can last from three days to a week depending on the ASMO's size, its facilities, the distances to move and the country.

The audit's scope is internationally defined as the inspection of a reasonable number of mines, processing plants, family processing plants, tailing pools and depends on the extension of the territory or the mining area.

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10. What are the steps to follow if the ASMO has any complaints or disagrees with the audit's results?

According to IMOswiss AG's quality policies there is a defined process called Appeals and Complaints Procedure, which explains in detail the actions an ASMO must follow when it disagrees with an auditing decision in order to handle the complaint in an adequate manner.

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11. When can the ASMO begin to sell Fairmined certified gold?

The ASMO can begin to sell its Fairmined certified gold from the moment it receives the document called "Certificate" from IMOswiss AG. This certificate ensures the ASMO was audited and certified according to the Certification and Control Procedures of the Fairmined Standard. It will be certified for one year starting on the issuing date, given permanent compliance with the requirements and the ASMO requests annual audits to confirm its continued commitment ARM offers miners support by giving them access to markets and connections to the supply chain.

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12. Who helps the ASMO connects to responsible supply chains?

Once the ASMO becomes certified, it receives support from ARM's Fairmined Commercial Unit. This area is constantly searching for buyers and offers the necessary guidance to facilitate the connection between producers (ASMO) and the market. There is an ever-increasing number of authorized Fairmined operators (traders, refiners, manufacturers or smelters) and Fairmined licensees (brands and buyers) that believe in Fairmined Gold and the positive impact it generates in mining organizations and communities.

We invite you to visit our Fairmined Buyers section

For more information and support from the Fairmined Commercial Unit, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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13. What is the renovation cycle for an ASMO's certification? How long is the certification valid?

According to international standards and quality commitments of the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), the ASMOs must receive annual audits that guarantee their continued compliance with the Standard's requirements and ensure the incorporation of progressive requirements, as defined by the Fairmined Standard.

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14. Who can I contact in the Alliance for Responsible Mining to learn more about Fairmined Certification?

ARM's Standards and Certification Unit offers guidance to ASMOs in the process of Fairmined Certification regarding the requirements and interpretations of the Standard. Furthermore, it ensures the adequate development of the Fairmined Certification System.

We invite you to send any questions, suggestions and recommendations you have about Fairmined Certification to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Our vision is to transform the ASM in a formalized, organized and profitable activity that uses efficient technologies and is socially and environmentally responsible; that it progressively develops within a framework of good governance, legality, participation and respect for diversity;
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