Q&A section

How is the fund managed?

ARM only collaborates with companies strictly committed to social and environmental responsibility. ARM will create a small grants facility to which Local Support Organizations and Miners´ Organizations can apply via open and closed calls for projects. The applications will be reviewed against transparent criteria and procedures and the resources will be allocated to proposals that represent a higher social return on investment.

Who can contribute to the fund?

The fund is open to all interested social investors such as individuals, the donor community, national governments, and small and large industry players committed to social and environmental responsibility who wish to contribute to the positive transformation of the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector.

ARM understands commitment to social and environmental responsibility of prospective donors in terms of:

  • The CSR / sustainability reputation of the organization.
  • The current CSR / sustainability initiatives undertaken by the organization.
  • The reputation and industry leadership of top management.
  • ARMs possibility to engage in CSR / sustainability initiatives within the organization.

To be responsive to its constituency, ARM has decided on a risk-adverse decision philosophy for cases where it is unable to secure fact-based information on a prospective social investor’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

How are funds invested?

  • 70-80% is invested in formalization / certification processes at the local level.
  • 15-20% is reinvested in bettering training and other services to ASM communities.
  • 5-10% represents overhead costs.

Ranges vary in accordance with the amount of the donation and agreements made with individual donors.

How are funds invested at local levels?

ARM has partnered with Local Support Organizations (NGOs, universities, local governments, mining organizations, independent trainers) who accompany artisanal and small-scale miners in training and/or certification processes. Members of these organizations become accredited in ARMs Producer Support Services to ensure standardization, high quality and a virtuous learning cycle in service delivery.

ARM has established two basic mechanisms to allocate Producer Support Funds:

  • Closed calls: Among current Local Support Organizations and/or limited in terms of geographic scope.
  • Open calls: Opened to current and prospective Local Support Organizations.

All calls for proposal have specific Terms of Reference, which include clear evaluation criteria and decision-making processes.

Can the donor decide where their contribution goes?

In general donations are pooled into a “common pot” to allow the flexibility to allocate funds where most needed. However, funds can be earmarked to a particular country when the level of funding can support the formalization and certification of at least one producer group. In this case, the same mechanisms of open or closed calls for fund allocation apply.

If a corporation is interested in supporting the formalization of a particular artisanal and small-scale mining organization it can contact ARMs Producer Service Unit to explore the feasibility of a tailor-made project.

Can ARM work with a particular mining community of my interest?

Yes, ARMs Producer Service Unit has a broad service portfolio including scoping, gap analysis, standards interpretation, backstopping and accompaniment during certification process, among others.

Will all communities become FAIRMINED

Not necessarily. The enormous diversity of the ASM gold sector means that although there are many miners’ organizations interested in becoming involved in a certification scheme, many more are still far from being able to become formalized for a number of different reasons, ranging from lack of appropriate government policies, to technical difficulties. Mining organizations have different levels of needs and the Fund aims to help a wide variety of producer organizations.

Does the fund generate financial returns to investors?

No. The fund generates social returns, with the following indicators:

  • Number or Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining organizations participating in formalization process.
  • Number of Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining organizations FAIRMINED certified.
  • Number of people that improve their quality of life.
  • Total of FAIRMINED gold that reaches global markets.

How is the fund governed?

ARM´s Board of Directors´ Executive Committee is the governing body of the fund, overseeing transparency, compliance and accountability of the investments. The fund is managed by ARM in an independently set up fiduciary account. It is regulated by our institutional policies and is subject to reviews by an external auditor on a regular basis. The fund will produce quarterly progress and financial reports. Investors will have access to this information upon request.

Who makes the decision of fund allocation?

Decision for allocation of funds to deserving organizations are made by a committee composed of ARM´s Board and Staff along with an external participant, actively involved in ASM or general industry issues.

Will investors be acknowledged for their donations?

All donors will be acknowledged on our website and in other relevant publications. They will receive as well a copy of our annual reports.

Are donations to the fund tax-deductible?

Social investors, who wish to make tax deductible donations, can do so through our partners in the United States or Europe. Please contact us directly for more detailed information.

How will I benefit?

  • Your company will be part of a ground breaking program pioneering the sustainable transformation of Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM)
  • Depending on your contribution, you will receive our annual report, a brochure and a audited report. Large contributors will receive a narrative activity report.
  • Social investors will be acknowledged on our website and other relevant publications and will receive our annual reports.
  • Your logo will be published on our webpage

What impact will my donation make?

ARM estimates an average investment of €40,000 - 60,000 is needed for a producer organization to reach the FAIRMINED standard, with the individual benefits varying from mine to mine. But the impact of the Producer Support Fund goes way beyond community development and making the companies comply with the standard. By setting up regional networks, it creates a powerful critical mass to reform both public policy and the market.