October 17, 2022

LBMA Moves to Support the World’s Artisanal Gold Miners

LBMA has proposed a series of concrete steps designed to realise its ambition, shared by a wide range of miners, refiners, governments, NGOs and other stakeholders, to encourage the inclusion of gold produced by Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) into mainstream supply lines.

Some 40 million people globally are engaged in ASM gold mining, producing as much as 20 percent of annual mined gold. LBMA has long supported the legitimisation of ASM production but has come to recognise that responsible sourcing programmes have unintentionally marginalised the sector due in part to rigorous sourcing standards, lack of engagement, and/or refiners’ and buyers’ concerns about reputational risk. The proposed steps should advance not only the governance of the sector but also open direct market access for those who depend either wholly or in part on artisanally-produced gold for their livelihood.

The announcement follows the publication of a report by Gregory Mthembu-Salter and Dr Thomas Salter of Phuzumoya Consulting, ‘Towards an LBMA Good Delivery List for Artisanal and Small-scale Responsibly Mined Gold'. The external report was commissioned by LBMA and published today on the LBMA website, where you can also read the LBMA Board Response to the report.

The Phuzumoya report makes six formal recommendations, which LBMA plans to employ as the basis of moves to support ASM producers. These include encouraging LBMA accredited refiners to develop relationships with processors and intermediate refiners approved by the Responsible Minerals Initiative, and to explore creating a Good Delivery List for such refiners. Moreover, the report recommends that LBMA should engage with its GDL members to establish what they require from regulatory regimes, and then engage with governments, civil society and other stakeholders in ASM producer countries to secure such reforms.

LBMA also intends to work with the World Gold Council (WGC) and its members to find ways mining companies can better support ASM miners and suppliers by providing logistical and initial smelting services.