Can blockchain be a substitute for trust relationships to support responsible sourcing from artisanal miners? The main obstacle for using blockchain is to create a link between the physical world (the traded gold) and the digital (the blockchain). While blockchain could contribute to a more transparent gold supply chain, it has a limited ability to ensure responsible sourcing from artisanal miners.
USAID’s Commercially Viable Conflict-Free Gold Project, known locally as “Zahabu Safi” is a five-year project, implemented in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by Global Communities and Levin Sources. The project is designed to build on recent successes achieved by donor-funded initiatives to export responsibly sourced gold to jewelry buyers in North America and Europe. This learning brief is designed to deepen understanding of the logistical barriers and incentives when transporting, storing, and preparing to export gold from eastern DRC.
Chloe Jacot, Estelle Levin Nally and Rosanna Tufo of Levin Sources and Christina T Miller and Maggie Gabos of Christina T Miller Jewelry Consulting.
USAID’s Commercially Viable Conflict-Free Gold Project, known locally as “Zahabu Safi” (Clean Gold), is a five-year program, implemented in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by Global Communities and Levin Sources. The project aims to establish a responsible, commercially viable and conflict-free ASM gold supply chain from eastern DRC.
The technology, jewelry, financial, and automotive sectors are increasingly at risk of purchasing gold that benefits armed groups responsible for mass atrocities in multiple countries in East and Central Africa. Five main policy issues continue to incentivize the conflict gold trade and disincentivize the responsible artisanal trade, presenting key opportunities for action by governments, companies, and banks.
83% of the world’s mining workforce relies on Artisanal and Small Scale mines for their livelihood. That comes to roughly 40.5 million people. These people were vulnerable before COVID-19 and even more so now. As gold prices rise, so does exploitation and violence for these miners.