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Just Gold: A Comprehensive Breakdown of the Impact of Each Ounce of Gold

Using data from the Just Gold project (see more information about the project, below), Joanne Lebert and Kesha Frank will illustrate the impact of gold mining on social, gender, and environmental issues. How many people can gold educate? How many can it feed? What are the risks of mining gold? What are the demographics of the miners? How can gold mining be used to incentivize positive social and environmental action?


The data from the Just Gold project tells a story. In this session, the speakers will tell that story and help participants understand the real world impact of the gold we mine, buy, and sell. This session will feature Joanne Lebert, Executive Director, IMPACT and Kesha Frank, Fair Trade Jewellery Company.

According to the IMPACT Website:

IMPACT’s Just Gold project is the first to successfully trace conflict-free and legal artisanal gold from mine site to export while applying regional and international standards applicable to conflict-affected and high-risk areas.

Through the Just Gold project, we create incentives for artisanal gold miners to channel their product to legal exporters—and eventually responsible consumers. As part of the project, the local traders we partner with buy the gold from miners at fair and transparent prices. We provide capacity building, such as technical assistance to miners, in return for legal sales. Miners are taught better extraction techniques and are offered Just Gold project equipment. In return, any gold they produce must be tracked and sold through legal channels. We’ve created the incentives for legal sales and work with miners, traders, and exporters to apply the Just Gold traceability and due diligence system.

While traceability and due diligence implementation models have addressed other conflict-prone minerals in Africa’s Great Lakes region, the Just Gold project is the first system to be developed for gold. The Just Gold project was piloted in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) Ituri Province, in Mambasa Territory, with the project proving a successful chain of custody from mine site to exporter in May 2017. In June 2017, the first export of conflict-free artisanal gold from DRC was completed, with a jeweller in Canada importing 238 grams. The gold has been made into jewellery and marks the first time any consumer good has been made from conflict-free artisanal gold from DRC that is fully traced from mine site to consumer.

Currently, the project is moving from a period of testing to implementation and ensuring there is a long-term, sustainable, and viable solution for traceable, legal, and conflict-free exports of artisanal gold from DRC. The Just Gold project applies the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas and the regional certification standards of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).