Partnership Africa Canada’s (PAC) first responsible and conflict free artisanal gold supply chain is now operational in Eastern Congo’s Just Gold project.
The global leader in developing innovative approaches to strengthen natural resource governance said Just Gold project is the first to successfully trace conflict-free and legal artisanal gold from mine site to export applying regional and international standards.
“After almost two years of testing the Just Gold project with an aim to develop a chain of custody and due diligence system for artisanal gold in DRC, we are excited to share news of our success,” said Joanne Lebert, Partnership Africa Canada’s Executive Director.
Lebert said the Just Gold project can now move from a period of testing to implementation, ensuring a long-term, sustainable and viable solution for traceable, legal and conflict-free exports of artisanal gold from Congo.
“We look forward to sharing our lessons learned with key actors and to deepening our collaboration with the DRC Government.”
Lebert further said the Just Gold project creates incentives for artisanal gold miners to channel their product to legal exporters—and eventually responsible consumers—by offering fair and transparent pricing and by providing capacity-building, such as technical assistance to miners in return for legal sales.
According to PAC Miners are taught better exploitation techniques and offered Juts Gold project equipment, in return for which any gold produced must be tracked and sold through legal channels.
“Proving that artisanal gold in eastern Congo can be conflict-free, legal and traceable is a major step in responsible sourcing efforts in the Great Lakes region.
The government of Democratic Republic of Congo is taking major strides in complying with regional standards and demonstrating how the implementation the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains can contribute to progressive improvements in the sector, supporting artisanal gold men and women miners to enter international markets,” said Lebert.
Meanwhile PAC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Minister of Mines last year outlining support for the organization’s activities to strengthen natural resource governance.
The Ministry of Mines has recognized the Just Gold project as a system of traceability and encouraged its implementation.
Current activities in DRC include the Just Gold project, capacity building to implement both the International Conference on the Great Lakes (ICGLR) Regional Certification Mechanism (RCM) and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance applicable to high-value minerals, as well as support to civil society for monitoring and reporting on supply chain integrity.