The Gold Solution recognized in Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge

07 October 2020

Solidaridad’s Gold Solution was recognized as a finalist in the just ended Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge for its innovative use of digital tools to engage small-scale miners with better practices to reduce environmental degradation and pollution within the sector.

The Grand Challenge, hosted by Conservation X Labs called for innovations to address on-site solutions, supply chain issues, and the data gap in the small-scale mining sector. 

Ahmed Abdul Basit, the Head of Digital Innovations for Solidaridad in West Africa, highlighted the importance of this challenge for the opportunity to build partnerships within the sector, and bring attention to digital innovation as a transformative solution for miners. 

We applied to the Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge because we believe digital tools have the power to impact community livelihoods and build more transparent value chains for Artisanal and Small scale Mining (ASM).” - Ahmed Abdul Basit

Solidaridad believes that small-scale miners have the potential to transform their livelihood when provided with knowledge on responsible mining practices through digital tools. 

The power to create change

The Gold Solution is a comprehensive suite of digital tools designed to promote adoption of best practices by mines and miners, while improving their access to markets and finance and increasing the transparency of supply chains. The Gold solution has three components:

  • An Interactive Voice Response platform compatible with basic feature and android phones and allows miners to receive practical guidelines on responsible mining practices, such as safe working conditions, responsible use of mercury and environmental management.

  • An android-based application to help mine managers track responsible mining practices at their mining sites and also provide information to regulatory bodies on mines’ compliance to set standards.

  • A web dashboard for key stakeholders, such as industry actors, donors and credit institutions to track the activities of small-scale miners.

The target is to use the platform to educate over 200,000 miners in Ghana, Tanzania and Cote d’Ivoire by 2023 and one million miners by 2025 to adopt best mining practices to improve on health, safety, environmental and business practices of small-scale miners.

A challenge for innovation

The Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge was hosted by Conservation X Labs, and sought to recognize innovative solutions to the greatest challenges in the ASMsector. Solidaridad was selected among 11 finalists out of more than 460 applicants, with solutions ranging from mercury analyzers to forest mining alert systems and so much more. Solidaridad extends an enthusiastic congratulation to the Challenge winners announced on October 1st and looks forward to the 2021 Challenge focused on mining solutions in the Amazon.

Read more about work in Gold.

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