Guidance on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

Guidance on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: a Useful Tool for Industry

“This guidance has been sorely needed for a long time and it’s great to see it come to fruition.”
Anne-Marie Fleury, Director, Standards and Impacts, Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC)

Member governments have begun to implement recommendations from IGF Guidance for Governments: Managing artisanal and small-scale mi….  We are gratified to see that it is also proving to be a useful tool for industry.

Major industry groups—including the ICMM, LBMA, WGC, RJC, IRMA, TANB, CDI and RJC—endorsed the guidance, which has a number of key implications for the mining industry.

We discussed these implications in a series of webinars hosted in partnership with RCS Global. A brief summary and responses from industry groups are below. More information on the guidance is available here: You may view the webinar here:

Webinar overview

Firstly, what is the Guidance? Endorsed by the IGF’s 56 member states, the Guidance represents the first universal framework designed to improve how government manage artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM).

The ASM sector is currently experiencing a period of growth as demand for minerals such as gold and cobalt rise. It is estimated that close to 25 million artisanal and small-scale miners currently operate globally with a further 100 million workers are indirectly involved in the industry. The guidelines give governments with a significant ASM sector a blueprint for formalising and managing what has been an often complex and chaotic industry. It takes governments through a step-by-step process covering the planning, development, and–crucially–the implantation stage of an ASM management strategy.

Key implications for industry:

  • It can help provide a more predictable, reliable and responsible sourcing environment for mining companies and mineral traders, refiners and manufacturers.
  • It can be used as a foundation for communication and negotiation between ASM sector governments and industry, allowing both parties to identify mutual interests and ways to collaborate.
  • It can help downstream businesses which source from ASM reduce their exposure to significant reputational, commercial, operational, and legal risk.
  • It can help companies improve their ability to achieve responsible mining and responsible sourcing objectives.

Responses from major industry groups:

“Governments must take lead responsibility for managing ASM issues and are a key partner to our members exposed to ASM risks. The ASM Guidance fills a much-needed gap in providing governments with good practice approaches to managing ASM. We encourage its uptake and application in countries with ASM sectors.”
Tom Butler, President and CEO of ICMM

“The World Gold Council supports responsible ASM that demonstrates appropriate environmental, safety and labour practices and is not linked to conflict. We support access to international markets for gold from responsible ASM.”
Terry Heymann, Chief Financial Officer, World Gold Council

“ASM is crucially important for rural livelihoods in many regions around the globe, providing jobs, skills, and development. We hence welcome the IGF’s effort to tie together various government-backed standards, including the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, in this new IGF Guidance. This avoids conflicting or confusing expectations and recognizes the crucial role for due diligence and private sector buyers in government policy-making on ASM, to create an enabling environment for inclusive and responsible global supply chains.”
Tyler Gillard, Head of Sector Projects, Responsible Business Conduct Unit, OECD

“Governments are key partners in managing and working with ASM. The more capacitated our government partners are and the more effective they are in leading on ASM management, the easier it will be for the industry to engage with and support a formalized and better-organised ASM sector. We therefore very much welcome the development of this guidance material focusing on governments and we look forward to its implementation.”
Ruth Crowell, CEO of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA)

“This guidance has been sorely needed for a long time and it’s great to see it come to fruition.”
Anne-Marie Fleury, Director, Standards and Impacts, Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC)

“ASM plays an important role in the mining of tantalum raw materials.  Efforts to increase governments’ understanding of ASM matters is welcome and the T.I.C. will continue to support such initiatives.”
Roland Chavasse, Director of the Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center

“The Cobalt Development Institute welcomes the IGF Guidance for Governments on managing artisanal and small-scale mining, as only a concerted effort by concerned parties, including governments which have a major part to play, will succeed in improving livelihoods in this important economic sector.”
The Cobalt Development Institute

“The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), while focused primarily on creating value for recognition of responsible mining at industrial scale sites, is conscious of the critical issues and overlap with artisanal scale mining. We appreciate the opportunity to learn more through this new guidance, discuss the issues with groups that lead in this space, and consider how we might together contribute to common benefit of the stakeholders most affected.”
Aimee Boulanger, Coordinator, Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA)

Source of info: GOXI
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