A major milestone in Colombia and the world, which proves that access to the legal market under transparent conditions is possible in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) through the application of due diligence 1 with a developmental outlook.
This breakthrough was possible thanks to Colombian women miners and the implementation of the “ASM Commercialization Model” (created by C.I Anexpo S.A.S) and the CRAFT Code (led by the Alliance for Responsible Mining and RESOLVE) with the clear goal of fostering improvements in organizational, social and environmental practices in the sector.
The first gold sale under the CRAFT Code (Code of Risk mitigation for Artisanal and small-scale mining engaging in Formal Trade) has been achieved.
Up until now, miners in Colombia have had few sales opportunities under an integral due diligence outlook that covers the needs and expectations of the market (regulations) while promoting the sustainable performance of its social and environmental practices. However, this is an example for the country and the worldwide gold industry, showing that the engagement of artisanal miners with formal national and international markets is possible.
This first CRAFT sale proved that selling to the formal market implies a higher price in relation to the one women miners would obtain in the informal market. This increase amounts up to 20%, depending on the region and market conditions.
This process has been made possible thanks to the effort of a group of Colombian women miners and Sociedad de Comercialización Internacional Antioqueña de Exportaciones C.I. Anexpo S.A.S., which was eager to get involved with the application of the CRAFT code as a tool that fosters access to the legal market. This Code strengthens their due diligence and the “Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Commercialization Model” with a constant focus on the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the ASM sector.
How does CRAFT foster access to legal markets?
This is how CRAFT can be used to facilitate the exercise of due diligence, the assessment of risks as per Annex II of the Guide of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the definition of a roadmap for improvement on other aspects.
For this gold sale pilot under the CRAFT Code, an analysis of the various risks in mining (such as child labor, work exploitation, human rights violations, among others) has been applied, with sights on their mitigation. This risk analysis exercise has been jointly performed with regional and local institutions, and key stakeholders of the community of the women’s association itself. CRAFT includes the needs for improvement, so that they can be addressed progressively.
This process will bring sustainability in time to the Colombian women miners association. The implementation of the actions of the plan that was designed based on the risks that were detected will result in an improved quality of life for the women and their families.
What does it mean for artisanal gold to have been sold with an emphasis on ujeesustainable development?
The CRAFT Code has allowed artisanal and small-scale miner women to have access to the formal market, which offers them better trade conditions and helps them improve their mining practices. However, one needs to keep in mind that this improvement is progressive.
This group of women miners implemented due diligence, committing to improving their practices while minding market demands.
- First, by declaring the absence of worst practices.
- Then, by addressing other key subjects for the continuous improvement of the association.
At the time, there are already top-level fair mining standards in place, such as Fairmined, but many miners cannot attain these standards overnight.
This is why they need the opportunity to access the market provided by CRAFT – their ticket to access the market. It will help them make greater efforts toward certifying the absence of worst practices and commit toward their progressive improvement. These responsibilities are shared by gold buyers and miners, and, given the chance, enjoy the support of sector development organizations.
Learn more about the CRAFT Code
CRAFT Code v1.0 was spearheaded by the Alliance for Responsible Mining and RESOLVE for one and a half years. During this period, joint efforts were carried out toward the development of CRAFT with various stakeholders that are a part of the CRAFT Committee and its Advisory Group, and also through a global public survey which saw the participation of many stakeholders of the artisanal and small-scale mining sector, including miners, among others. The development of the CRAFT Code, as well as its various pilots in the region has been funded by EPRM (European Partnership for Responsible Minerals), and soon, the next implementation phase of this tool will be as well.
Learn more about the “Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Commercialization Model”
C.I. Anexpo S.A.S is an international precious metal trading company that has created its own trading model based on due diligence and the implementation of the Money Laundering and Terrorism Funding Risk Management System (SARLAFT). C.I. Anexpo S.A.S. fosters fair and safe trade, as well as the respect for the environment and sustainable development. In its capacity as an International Trader, it is constantly improving and fostering transparent and formal supply chains, as evidenced in its clear focus on supporting and bolstering small-scale miners who are committed to mining as per the best practices in safety and mining lawfulness.
1 Due diligence: This is a process to identify, evaluate, report, mitigate and monitor risks inherent to the mining activity or region (such as the lack of human rights or legal risks, among others). Miners are required to demonstrate that they have made reasonable efforts in good faith and toward a continuous improvement, addressing risks with the support of local, national and international stakeholders.