Responsible mining

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Responsible mining refers to advocacy to reform mining activity, as well as to a marketing strategy used by mining companies to promote their operations as environmentally or socially sound. Goals may vary by group.

Responsible mining first appeared in an article entitled "Re-inhabitory Mining"[1] and next in another article titled "Ecological Mining".[2] The term "Responsible Mining" is also claimed as having been formulated by Ranil Senanayake of the International Analog Forestry Network and Brian Hill of the Institute for Cultural Ecology.[citation needed]


'Responsible mining' advocacy is being carried out by several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and social ventures:

The Alliance for Responsible Mining[3] 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.

Tha Artisanal Gold Council[4] Through global partnerships and innovative programs the Artisanal Gold Council (AGC) carries out its mission to improve the opportunities, environment and health of the millions of individuals involved in artisanal and small scale gold mining.

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.[5] Two of BioVerde directors were founders of ARM.[citation needed]

Citizens for Responsible Mining is active in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and is concerned with countering anti-mining sentiment,[6] especially concerning sulfide mining.[7]

The Framework for Responsible Mining is a project of the Center for Science in Public Participation.[8] They define their mission as "a joint effort" that "outlines environmental, human rights, and social issues associated with mining and mined products."[9]

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance is a multi-stakeholder initiative involving representatives from civil society, downstream buyers (jewellers, electronics), mining industry, affected communities and labour. They define their mission as "working towards a world where mining operations are consistent with healthy communities and environments, and they leave positive legacies."[10]

Levin Sources is a social venture and consultancy that seeks to drive responsible mining and sourcing practices by working closely with businesses, governments, NGOs and communities in producer nations, with a specific focus on artisanal and small-scale mining.[11] They are responsible for the ‘Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Transformative Arisanal and Small-scale Mining’ (‘BEST-ASM’) Knowledge Hub[12] and The GIFF Project, an initiative and toolkit for identifying, addressing and raising awareness of illicit financial flows in gold mining as an impediment to responsible mining.[13]

The Pew Campaign for Responsible Mining is a project of the Pew Environment Group, focused mainly on reforming the General Mining Act of 1872 in the United States.[14]

StandFIRM: Filipinos for the Institution of Responsible Mining[15] is a proactive, science-based, truth-anchored, action-oriented, youth-driven national coalition in the Philippines which aims to institutionalize the practice of responsible mining and eradicate irresponsible mining practices. It pushes for policies that address irresponsible mining practices and prioritizes the Filipinos' interests towards the utilization of minerals and benefits gained through mining for national sustainable development.[16][17][18][19][20]

Media coverage[edit]

The Nation was critical of the concept in a February 2010 article by Matt Kennard titled "How Responsible Is Socially Responsible Mining?".[21]

Meanwhile, the New York Times has covered the marketing of jewelry made of 'responsibly-mined' gold[22] and the Pew Campaign's efforts to change the 1872 mining law.[23]


  1. ^ "Re-inhabitory Mining", City Miner, 1979, Vol.4, No.1, Berkeley, California
  2. ^ "Ecological Mining", Restoring the Earth Conference, Berkeley, California, in Modern Gold Miner & Treasure Hunter, Nov./Dec., 1988
  3. ^, Alliance for Responsible Mining
  4. ^ "Home - Artisanal Gold Council". Artisanal Gold Council.
  5. ^ *BioVerde S.A.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Framework for Responsible Mining --- ABOUT CSP2".
  9. ^ "Framework for Responsible Mining --- HOME".
  10. ^ "Initiative for Responsible Mining".
  11. ^ "Levin Sources".
  12. ^ "Minerals and the Environment".
  13. ^ "GIFF: Illicit Financial Flows from Gold".
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Security Check Required".
  16. ^
  17. ^ Revita, Juliet C. (6 August 2016). "Mining industry gathers in Davao for responsible mining".
  18. ^ "Don't stop responsible mining". 5 August 2016.
  19. ^ "An industry on the line". The Guidon. 16 May 2017.
  20. ^ "Building Strong Ties with the Mining Industry". Maccaferri, Inc. 27 July 2017.
  21. ^ Kennard, Matt. "How Sustainable is Socially Responsible Mining?" The Nation, February 17, 2010. Accessed April 18, 2010.
  22. ^ Johnson, Kirk. "With This Ethical Ring I Thee Wed". The New York Times, April 6, 2006. Accessed April 18, 2010
  23. ^ "Editorial: Unchanged (For the Worse) Since 1872". The New York Times, August 20, 2007. Accessed April 18, 2010.

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