Responsible mining refers to advocacy to reform mining activity, as well a marketing strategy used by mining companies to promote their operations as environmentally or socially sound. Goals may vary by group.
Responsible mining first began to appear in an article entitled "Re-inhabitory Mining"  and next as "Ecological Mining". The term "Responsible Mining" was formulated by Ranil Senanayake of the International Analog Forestry Network and Brian Hill of the Institute for Cultural Ecology.
'Responsible mining' advocacy is carried out by several non-governmental organizations (NGOs):
The Alliance for Responsible Mining is an independent, mission-driven initiative that supports artisanal and small-scale (ASM) miners globally. Established in 2004, the organization’s mission is to enhance social and economic wellbeing, strengthen environmental protection and establish fair governance in ASM communities by formalizing the ASM sector. To achieve its mission, ARM has created an exceptional set of social and environmental standards known as the Fairmined certification. ARM offers extensive and continuous support and training to ASM communities to help them reach the standards, achieve the Fairmined certification and invest in community development. Furthermore, ARM serves as an intermediary for ASM communities, which gives them the opportunity to respond to international markets demanding ethical metals and jewelry. Since 2004, ARM has facilitated the positive transformation of multiple ASM communities in Latin America and is currently expanding its efforts to Africa and Asia.
BioVerde, S.A. provides consultancies to protect and advance the rights and traditions of small and medium size mining communities, to provide responsible mining plans of operation, appropriate technology, and to help market limited quantities of precious metals and gems. Two of BioVerde directors were founders of ARM.
The Framework for Responsible Mining is a project of the Center for Science in Public Participation. They define their mission as "a joint effort" that "outlines environmental, human rights, and social issues associated with mining and mined products."
The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. They define their mission as "working towards a world where mining operations are consistent with healthy communities and environments, and they leave positive legacies."
- "Re-inhabitory Mining", City Miner, 1979, Vol.4, No.1, Berkeley, California
- "Ecological Mining", Restoring the Earth Conference, Berkeley, California, in Modern Gold Miner & Treasure Hunter, Nov./Dec., 1988
- *BioVerde S.A.
- Kennard, Matt. "How Sustainable is Socially Responsible Mining?" The Nation, February 17, 2010. Accessed April 18, 2010.
- Johnson, Kirk. "With This Ethical Ring I Thee Wed". The New York Times, April 6, 2006. Accessed April 18, 2010
- "Editorial: Unchanged (For the Worse) Since 1872". The New York Times, August 20, 2007. Accessed April 18, 2010.