A recent study commissioned by the Alliance for Responsible Mining and Solidaridad to analyze the supply chain of the artisanal small-scale mining (ASM) sector in Ghana has revealed that a simple one-step process, where the ASM miner is also the holder of an export license and is able to go through a relatively straight-forward administrative process to export gold, can fairly make it easier to trace the origin of gold down to the mine and even the pit where the gold is produced.
The report also indicated that the chain could be a complex multi-link process involving different miners, mine locations, and several traders in any given transaction. In such trade networks, the study disclosed that providing assurance for the source of gold and the mining practices involved in the gold production is much more difficult and complex, and would require a robust traceability system.
The analysis, which was part of a broader study into the ASM sector in Ghana, was aimed at promoting responsible mining in the sector and facilitating formal trade through the introduction and implementation of risk mitigation and due diligence principles into the sector’s operations and trade. Specifically, the study was to provide a reasonable basis for the creation of supply chains that will comply with the Code for Risk-mitigation for artisanal and small-scale mining engaging in Formal Trade (CRAFT).
Focusing primarily on the mines supported by Solidaridad, the research used focus group discussions and interviews (structured and semi-structured) to ascertain applicable regulations, including the various legal and regulatory frameworks that could support, or potentially pose a challenge to the adoption of CRAFT from local miners, mine owners, different categories of gold dealers, an academic, regulatory agencies, exporters, and other mines not supported by Solidaridad.
The study further outlines potential challenges with introducing CRAFT, as well as opportunities that could be harnessed to ensure a successful implementation of the framework. It recommends a phased approach to CRAFT adoption and suggests concrete steps for implementation. It also proposes key action points that need to be considered for a more sustainable CRAFT-aligned ASM sector.