Alliance for Responsible Mining’s Director, Yves Bertrán, attended the International Conference on Artisanal and Small-scale Mining & Quarrying in the Republic of Zambia (ASM18) from September 11 to 13. This event fostered a discussion on the opportunities for development and the challenges of artisanal and small-scale mining worldwide.

During this conference – an initiative of the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme –, Yves had the opportunity to support 6 miners from different countries: Kenya, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Peru, whose travel expenses were paid by the OECD, the ARM and the United States embassy in Peru.

The Alliance for Responsible Mining also provided assistance by encouraging the participation of miners in the event’s panels. Yves acted as the moderator in two sessions on traceability on the third day of the conference.

  • The first session involved a debate on implemented models and lessons learned toward the improvement of traceability mechanisms. The participation of Bismarck Onyando, a Kenyan miner, was of particular interest during this event, who spoke about the challenges of traceability from his point of view. The main challenges that were singled out were: the sustainability of models that are still supported by cooperation funds and the difficulty of introducing advanced technologies.
  • The second session involved a discussion on specific cases where traceability is has been applied, with the participation of MACDESA’s General Manager, Herberth Chirinos Olivera – a mining organization that produces gold certified under the Fairmined Standard. The miner touched on the difficulties and challenges of maintaining a good level of traceability in mining organizations, and the logistical difficulties that exist from the mine to the point of export. This event also saw the participation of Patrick Schein, ARM board member and gold trader in the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector, who spoke about the difficulties of having physical traceability in ASM chains.

At the end of the event, Patrick, María Laura Baretto (also a board member at ARM) and Yves helped in writing the Mosi-oa-Tsuna declaration, which bears the name of the Victoria Falls in Zambia, and acknowledges the role of ASM and aims to provide strategic guidance toward the future development of the sector.

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