e envision a formal, professional, environmentally sound, and socially responsible Artisanal Gold Mining Sector that supplies Responsible Artisanal Gold™ to markets, attracts socially responsible investors and buyers, and encourages ethical consumer behaviours. The Artisanal Gold Council (AGC) is a not-for-profit organization based out of Victoria, BC, Canada. We are leading the development of the Artisanal Gold Sector in recognition of its role as a first-rate mechanism of transfer of wealth to poor communities. Our mission is to improve the Artisanal Gold Sector and the livelihoods of the people and communities that are working in it.
Our global team has extensive field knowledge and direct experience with Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) communities worldwide. We have decades of experience in the areas of business, Our global team has extensive field knowledge and direct experience with Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) communities worldwide. We have decades of experience in the areas of business, sustainable development, social responsibility, governance, environment, health, geology, geospatial analysis, gold markets,and mercury science. We work with miners, government, and industry.
ASGM contributes roughly 20% of the world’s gold production, directly employs 10 million people in 80 countries in the developing world, and contributes 20 billion USD into impoverished communities each year.
Integrated Approach “Inclusivity”
We work directly with ASGM communities and local experts to develop integrated and
practical solutions that address the unique circumstances that exist in different locations around the world. We aim to improve the ASGM sector through awareness, training, technology innovation, business development, education, and capacity-building. The diversity of our work and our grass-roots approach allow us to effectively bridge field work with national and international policy. To improve the ASGM sector worldwide and have a positive impact on the millions of people involved in this sector in more than 80 countries, we use our deep field knowledge and focus on the following strategic areas: improved practices, governance, livelihoods, health, environment, gender equality, market access and development. Our integrated approach seeks to build an environmentally sound, socially responsible, and formalized ASGM sector effective at transferring wealth to the poor.
• Improved practices – Reducing mercury usage in ASGM is important in order to comply with current environmental regulations/standards.
• Governance – Despite the benefits of the ASGM sector, governments need to recognise that both the ASGM and industrial mining sectors play an important role in the development of countries. Industrial mining provides governments with needed tax revenues, whereas artisanal gold mining provides a large number of rural jobs to the poor as well as opportunities for skills development.
• Livelihoods – ASGM is an important development opportunity which can contribute directly to poverty alleviation and regional development. In fact wealth from Artisanal Mining often supports many people in non-mining communities.
• Health – Although health issues in artisanal and small-scale gold mining are of serious concerns, they can be mitigated through education, improved processes and best practices.
• Environment – Mercury use and water consumption are two environmental concerns associated with artisanal and small-scale gold mining. Although the environmental issues in the sector are of serious concern, they can be mitigated through education, improved processes and best practices.
• Gender Equality – Women and men both play vital roles in contributing to an economically sustainable, environmentally sound and socially responsible artisanal and small-scale gold sector globally. We recognize that both women and men have a role to play in decisionmaking mechanisms and both can flourish in a wide range of roles in the ASGM primary and secondary economies.
• Market Access and Development – The sector is a large and emerging opportunity for responsible business development. We establish formal business practices and create investment opportunities to connect the sector to markets and needed capital flows, that in turn support its improvement.
Responsible Artisanal Gold ETF: The Opportunity
The Artisanal Gold Council is developing a Responsible Artisanal Gold™ backed Exchange Traded Fund that will bridge the market between the $70B in industrial gold backed ETFs and the $21T invested in Socially Responsible Investments. ASGM satisfies all 7 activities/strategies of Socially Responsible Investing.
This socially responsible investment directly delivers environmental and social improvements to the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector. The Responsible Artisanal Gold™ fund contributes directly to environmental stewardship, poverty alleviation, economic diversification and health improvement programs for artisanal mining communities. Investing in our fund will assist the AGC in ensuring that its mission is carried out.
The Responsible Artisanal Gold™ ETF is structured and will be registered and run similarly to the largest physical goldbacked ETFs currently in the market.
Social Enterprises / Ventures
The Artisanal Gold Council is currently establishing corporate vehicles with expert management teams to house ASGM ventures. We are reviewing opportunities to participate in artisanal operations around the world, that fit with the objectives / directives set out by the Council.
The AGC’s involvement in all aspects of ASGM worldwide makes it an attractive strategic partner (through one of its planned social enterprises) for local artisanal mining groups and a great investment opportunity for investors looking for an entry point into this largely untapped business.
We are actively seeking investment to develop social enterprises that will both generate wealth and help transition the artisanal gold sector into a responsible one.