SBGA and the Better Gold Initiative, facilitate the entry of artisanal and small-scale mining operations to the gold market. Continuous improvement is the heart and the immutable principle of the private-public partnership, and is essential to its success. Small-Scale Mining participating operations are given incentives to continuously improve their practices and to slowly enter the international gold market by complying with the due diligence guidance of Better Gold or the requirements of Voluntary Sustainability Systems recognized. This progressive approach is known as Better Gold Continuous Improvement Escalator.
ASM’s Better Gold Continuous Improvement Escalator comprises three progressive steps, from the first selection of Small-Scale Mining operators until becoming Better Gold verified suppliers and, for some operators who aim at having access to specialized markets, obtaining the Voluntary Sustainability Systems certification.
Voluntary Sustainability Systems are an alternative way of trade based on the transparency, traceability, equality, and observance of rights and duties of all parties. Its main objective is to support and contribute to the creation of a sustainable, responsible and environmentally-friendly business development model. Voluntary Sustainability Systems promote trade conditions that allow to develop a direct relationship with the buyer, without requiring any intermediary, and also ensure that small-scale and artisanal gold miners get a fair price, access to international market, and anticipated funding.
In order to obtain the Voluntary Sustainability Systems certification, mining organizations shall meet the requirements of a standard for artisanal and small-scale mining. Standards have a comprehensive approach to the production process, comprised by 4 chapters of requirements with their respective compliance criteria.
Once all the standard requirements are met, miners shall submit a request for audit to the organization from which they want to receive the certification, in order to verify its compliance, and assume all the service costs.
The certification stamp guarantees the certification of gold produced with added value, since it complies with the criteria of the Voluntary Sustainability Systems’ standards.
Fairmined certification system is a groundbreaking initiative that gives artisanal and small-scale gold miners an opportunity to transform their reality, with better incomes and improving their work conditions, as well as their communities' quality of life through responsible mining practices. This gold offers better sales conditions.
Fairtrade is an alternative trading system that directly connects producers with consumers. It is a 1.3 million producers network (farmers, workers and miners) from 63 countries around the world, who have access to international markets in 25 countries. It is the most recognized ethical certification stamp for consumers worldwide. This is a stamp for Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining.
Responsible Jewellery Council is a non-profit organization based in London, which establishes good practices standards throughout the jewelry supply chain (gold, diamonds and platinum). This stamp is for medium and large scale mining.