RJC recognises Fairminded standard for gold from artisanal mining

The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) have announced today that Fairmined Standard v.2.0, the landmark mining standard for the Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining sector, is now officially recognised as a Responsible Mining Standard under the RJC Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard for precious metals.

Press release originally published on the RJC website

This aims to further incentivise artisanal miners to become certified under the Fairmined Standard, and recognises the pioneering work of the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) in creating this vital program for the sector.

To be able to extend the Fairmined certification scheme and its benefits to increasing numbers of committed responsible artisanal miners and ensure its long-term feasibility, the Fairmined initiative is dependent on increasing market opportunities for miners. To accomplish a more sustained market growth with larger gold volumes sourced from Fairmined certified organizations, the Fairmined Standard now provides brands with three different innovative sourcing models: Labeled, Incorporated and Fairmined Certificates that respond to the demand and nature of a broad variety of businesses wishing to support responsible ASM through sourcing of Fairmined Gold. 

To promote market uptake of Fairmined gold, RJC, in cooperation with ARM, conducted a review of the comparability of the RJC Code of Practices standard and the Fairmined standard. The comparability analysis was reviewed by the RJC Standards Committee in September 2014 and the multi-stakeholder Committee agreed to formally recognise the Fairmined Standard v.2.0 as a ‘Recognised Responsible Mining Standard’ under the RJC CoC Standard. 

The RJC recognition equally serves to help mitigate the potential impacts that the increasing international focus on conflict-sensitive due diligence can have on ASM miners. This focus has raised concerns that downstream supply chain participants may avoid Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sourcing, driving ASGM towards even more informal or even illegal supply chains.

RJC CoC Certified refiners can source from Fairmined certified Artisanal and Small-scale miners, confident in the practices at the mine, and thus contribute to the further integration of ASM into the formal economy. This builds on the recommendations of the ‘OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains – Supplement on Gold’ that all gold supply chain participants support legitimate ASM producers.

When gold is sourced from certified Artisanal and Small-scale miners under RJC Chain-of-Custody Certification, it will become part of a ‘CoC gold’ stream. Claims around the gold being certified as Fairmined cannot automatically be made. For claims to be made the requirements of the Fairmined System must be met. 

“The Fairmined Standard makes a vital contribution to the formalisation and professionalization of the ASM sector.  RJC is pleased that this recognition under the CoC standard can help further promote certification of ASM producers and enhance market access with RJC CoC Certified refiners,” says Fiona Solomon, Director – Standards Development, Responsible Jewellery Council.

“The RJC recognition of the Fairmined Standard opens up important market possibilities for the Fairmined certified miners and the industry. We are very pleased the efforts of the miners are recognized and invite RJC members to further support the miners by joining the Fairmined initiative through our different sourcing models,” says Lina Villa-Cordoba, Executive Director at the Alliance for responsible Mining.

A Q&A on the recognition has been developed and is available on the RJC and ARM websites.

For further information please contact: 

RJC
Madalina Grigorie,
Communications Coordinator, Responsible Jewellery Council
Telephone + 44 (0)20 7836 6376, madalina.grigorie@responsiblejewellery.com

ARM
Siri Teilmann-Ibsen, Communications Coordinator,
Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM)
Telephone + 57 (4) 332 4711, siriteilmann@communitymining.org

About the Alliance for Responsible Mining

The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) is an independent, global-scale, pioneering initiative established in 2004 to enhance equity and wellbeing in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) communities. ARM is committed to social justice and environmental responsibility as the values driving the transformation of ASM.

ARM's vision is for ASM to become a formalized, organized and profitable activity that uses efficient technologies and is socially and environmentally responsible. ARM’s work is focused on four strategic areas: Standard Setting, Producer Support, Market Development and Advocacy and Communications.

Fairmined is an assurance label that certifies gold from empowered responsible mining communities.  It is backed by a rigorous 3rd party certification and audit system that ensures that small entrepreneurial mining communities meet world leading standards for responsible practices. Fairmined transforms mining into an active force for good, ensuring social development and environmental protection providing everyone with a source of gold they can be proud of.