Natural resources organisation Impact and the European Union (EU) have successfully implemented a traceability and due diligence system from mine site to the international market for artisanal gold from Côte d’Ivoire as part of the Just Gold project.
The Just Gold project supports artisanal gold miners and provides evidence of traceability, enabling international buyers to track their gold to the pit it was mined at.
The project also supports private sector actors to complete due diligence on their supply chain to identify, mitigate and publicly report on risks such as human rights abuses, forced and child labour and corruption.
The first responsible export of artisanal gold comprised a 755 ingot of gold mined in Dabakala and was traced to Abidjan, where the exporter is located, with full due diligence completed on the supply chain.
“This first responsible export of artisanal gold is a major turning point for Ivorians who can now count on traceability and due diligence mechanisms for their supply chain—opening a window to the international market for the country’s artisanal miners,” comments Impact executive director Joanne Lebert.
She says this export has demonstrated that supply chain due diligence can be commercially viable for all actors, and is both scalable and sustainable.
The Just Gold project has continued to operate throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, during which time artisanal mining communities have been severely affected, as prices paid for gold have dropped, while the cost of living has drastically increased.
Tthe Just Gold project guarantees the cooperative and its members are paid a fixed price, calculated based on a method which minimises the impact of local price fluctuations in times of crisis, Lebert avers.
“The Just Gold project offers Côte d'Ivoire unexplored opportunities for economic activity and development. These days consumers and the private sector are paying more attention to the conditions in which their products are manufactured and when they purchase gold, they want to be sure it isn’t tied to illicit trade or human rights violations,” says Côte d’Ivoire EU ambassador Jobst von Kirchmann.
“The Ivorian government recognises the importance of due diligence in contributing to sustainable development and increasing artisanal gold production, and is taking important steps in this direction. This is even more important given that under new European regulations coming into force in 2021, European importers of minerals such as gold will be required to complete due diligence on their supply chain."