Building an information management system for artisanal and small-scale miners and program implementers to facilitate continuous improvement, document the impact of ASM operations, and validate their alignment with the CRAFT Code and/or Fairmined Standard. The system will create a common framework of assessment and reporting.
The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) and BetterChain share a common mission of promoting the formalization of Artisanal & Small-scale Mining (ASM) activities and supporting ASM miners in adopting sustainable practices, standards to access formal markets.
This year (2021), ARM and BetterChain are proud to announce their partnership to build a data management system for ASM (data collection, processing, profiling and reporting). This tool will standardize reporting expectations against the CRAFT Code, facilitate CRAFT and Fairmined assessments, communicate positive impact in the ASM sector and empower ASM stakeholders to support and demonstrate compliance with global mineral and metal procurement requirements. The aim is to deliver a professional, valuable tool for allies, implementers, buyers and donors to monitor the positive transformation of the ASM sector in terms of legitimacy, human rights, security and health at work, environmental protection, social development, among others.
ARM played a pivotal role in developing the Code of Risk mitigation for Artisanal and small-scale miners engaging in Formal Trade (CRAFT) along with their partner RESOLVE. CRAFT provides a standard to assess critical social and environmental risks in ASM supply chains, offering a practical framework to apply the generic OECD Due Diligence Guidance at mine-site level. The CRAFT Code is also focused on progressive improvement, defining clear criteria for critical risks while assessing opportunities for — and making commitments to — mitigate risks and improve other social, environmental and safety practices.
Additionally, ARM has created the Fairmined Certification based on the Fairmined Standard. Fairmined is an assurance label that certifies gold from empowered, responsible artisanal and small-scale mining organizations. It transforms mining into an active force for good, ensuring social development and environmental protection, providing everyone with a source of gold to be proud of.
“To scale up to more efficiently and better demonstrate impact to stakeholders, ARM is taking an important step in the digitization of information for the collection, analysis and reporting of the sustainability path adopted by ASM, using the CRAFT and Fairmined frameworks. Apart from internal use, we hope it will add value to allies within the Sustainable Mines Program ecosystem by standardizing the collection of information and helping to monitor and showcase the impacts of the Sustainability Plans implemented with the miners. The combined experience of Betterchain in ASM due diligence and software implementation is important in achieving these goals. ” Natalia Uribe, Standards and Certification Manager at ARM.
Supply chain innovation lab BetterChain, through its deployment of the Consolidated Autonomous Due Diligence (CADD) framework - with support from the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM), developed a process for upstream supply chain data standardisation, to streamline reporting of information among participants and facilitate auditing at smelter or refiner level.
To scale CADD deployment, BetterChain also developed a software to guide mining and mineral trade stakeholders in their compilation and facilitate secure sharing of information. That system, DataStake, is already being used by supply chain participants and civil society actors in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso. It comprises a mine site risk mitigation module which is expected to serve as the foundation for CRAFT information management, and help standardise expectations from all parties seeking to implement the Code.
“The priority is to ensure reporting consistency across mineral supply chains globally, which conditions consumer-side engagement in support of ASM communities. The CRAFT Code is the global benchmark for risk management and progress measurement with regards to ASM-originating supply chains; it is crucial to ensure that its implementation is consistent across all countries and minerals.” Benjamin Clair, Founder and CEO at BetterChain.
Together, ARM and BetterChain will provide a clear framework for implementers globally to demonstrate CRAFT conformance, which they expect will accelerate CRAFT’s practical application while preserving the Code’s integrity and credibility. Additionally, we will offer the possibility to assess against the Fairmined Standard for the ASM gold organizations willing to move forward in their sustainability route and responsible management of their businesses.
The pilot platform will be available at the end of 2021 for testing in Colombia and Burkina Faso. Afterward, ARM and BetterChain will make it available for allies in other countries, with the purpose of strengthening data information about the ASM sector.
Tallinn, Estonia-registered BetterChain specializes in the development of solutions to facilitate the engagement of international buyers and investors in support of transparent ASM operations. It assists companies with the implementation of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance through the development of scalable compliance assurance programs. Beyond compliance, BetterChain activities are geared towards turning due diligence activities into an economic opportunity for stakeholders in resource-rich countries.
Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM)
Headquartered in Colombia, over the last 15 years, ARM has accompanied over 150 mines globally. ARM has ongoing projects in several countries in Latin America, Africa and Europe, with established institutional relationships and in-depth knowledge of the ASM sector in these territories. With miners and their communities in the heart of its work, it has gained credibility supporting formalization and certification processes and legitimizing the ASM sector through dialogue spaces and awareness-raising with stakeholders at a local, national and global level.
ARM develops the Sustainable Mines program, a multisectoral alliance to transform ASM, linking development cooperation, philanthropy, governments, and industry in high-impact programs to transform the ASM sector progressively. Sustainable Mines Program is a flexible sourcing program that will allow a seamless “CRAFT Scheme” managed by ARM and Fairmined certification, integrating all the actors through the universal language of impact, providing transparent information on mining management.
By working with allies, we want to offer miners a vision of a more sustainable future, together tracing a route aligned with the CRAFT Code and Fairmined standard, to achieve profitable and productive small mining operations, firmly integrated into global supply chains, while caring for people and the environment. The program offers the market and other partners flexible ways to get involved with small-scale mining according to their needs, sustainability priorities and market differentiation strategies.