May 3, 2021.

Between April 27 and 28, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) held the 14th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains. Within the frame of the event, conducted online for 2021, there were different opening activities and partner sessions during the same week, among which, the Alliance for Responsible Mining discussed topics on implementation of due diligence concerning gender, and the creation of scalable solutions for ASM, child labor, and mercury use.

Know more about the topics and some conclusions:

Building up Scalable Market-driven Solutions for ASM Gold

In this space, led by the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) on April 26, Marcin Piersiak, ARM Executive Director, highlighted the OECD’s promotion in market participation and risk mitigation, adding that in this bet, it is essential to analyze ASM expectations from the regulation of the producing countries and risk reactions of buyers, which makes it necessary to educate the audience in general and consumers about the positive aspects of buying to strengthen global demand. About that, Piersiak stated:

“There is a space for a common front that fosters a proper condition for ASM worldwide. However, in order to achieve that, it is important to deconstruct the narrative of the “illegal mining” that is becoming mainstream, and replace it with a positive narrative, one that is associated to the progress of Sustainable Development.”

Some factors about the implementation of CRAFT Code and Fairmined Certification as one of the main models to add value to ASM purchases were also discussed.

Click here to see an OECD study that refers Fairmined.

How can we foster greater multi-stakeholder collaboration to address child labour and improve working conditions in Artisanal and SmallScale Mining (ASM)?

On this session, held on April 29 by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Levin Sources, ARM participated in a panel represented by Baptiste Coue, Africa Manager. A transversal axis of this meeting was the access to better opportunities through formal market as the main incentive for progressive and continuous training of ASM sector, by associating actors to the supply chain.

Coue presented the projects Minas y Cuevas (Honduras), and Asomuselupaz (Colombia) as references that aim to improve work conditions in ASM. About that, he declared: “We can say that, until today, CRAFT has been attractive for both miners and supply chain actors (…) Involving all actors during project design or early implementation, allows them to better understand the sector and its challenges, so they can have a more integral and proactive approach in their purchase strategy.”

In this presentation, the elimination of child labor was also addressed, emphasizing the importance of not taking this as an isolated topic, but as a reality that is part of a local social and economic context, which should be countered through integral intervention.

Mind the Gold We Mine

The third partner session was on April 30th, organized by Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), which invited Yves Bertran, Executive Director of ARM Europe, who talked about mercury use and the instruments to reduce its utilization through market initiatives. With the participation of almost 100 people among jewelers, university students, and researchers of the sector, Bertran addressed the capacity of the market to influence and support the decisions of producers towards the improvement of manufacture practices through the interest in the gold they buy.

Topics on direct financial support through the supply chain and the recognition of a responsible production were also discussed in the session. The need for a progressive path, which represents important challenges at organizational and financial levels was also pointed.

CRAFT Code and Fairmined standard were quoted as models in many cases to trace this map and support miners on this transition. There was a discussion about the fact that technology was not enough to boost sustainable changes, but the problem had to be approached in an inclusive way,” Bertran stated.

 

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