Artisanal mining organisation recertified for Fairmined ecological label

Local news, 21.09.2017

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. 21.09.2017 -- “XAMODX” NGO, operated by some 300 artisanal miners in Bayan-Ovoo soum, Bayankhongor aimag, became the first Artisanal and Small-scale Mining organisation in Asia and one of only two in the world to receive Fairmined Ecological Gold certification from the Alliance for Responsible Mining - a special Fairmined label for gold produced without the use of mercury or cyanide - having fulfilled more than 200 standards affirming that the organisation’s operations were economically, technologically and environmentally responsible.

An artisanal miner from the XAMODX NGO in Bayan-Ovoo, Bayankhongor is working in the deep shaft. © SDC in Mongolia

In September 2017, the NGO passed an international audit and was recertified validating their commitment.

NGO’s commitment, as well as all the people who support this project, have shown that the effort, the passion and the desire are the key elements to maintain the best practices in the artisanal and small scale mining sector, said the Alliance for Responsible Mining. 

SDC’s Sustainable Artisanal Mining Project’s Mineral Trade expert N. Uranchimeg explains that Fairmined and ecological gold means:

  • No use of mercury during the extraction process
  • Respects and practices human rights
  • No child labour involved
  • No enrichment with cyanide
  • Processed in areas with no abuse, violence or human trafficking
  • No slavery involved
  • Extracted from areas with no disputes or disagreements.

The Fairmined Ecological Gold certification opened doors for “XAMODX” to export its gold to ethically mined world gold markets at fair prices, with an additional premium per kilogram.

The premium is rewarded for ethical behavior within Fairmined Standards, for creating sustainable workplaces, and for contributing to poverty reduction. It is also used to support artisanal and small-scale miners and local community development. The NGO verifies its activities through an international audit organisation.

In 2015, it exported 1kg of Fairmined Ecological Gold to the world market and received USD $6000 as a premium. This year they entered into an agreement with the Trade Gold Company from Germany to export and sell Fairmined Ecological Gold to the European market.

“XAMODX” NGO head Ch. Otgonbaatar said: “Our NGO is proud of exporting Fairmined and Ecological Gold to the world market. We received USD $6000 as a premium, which we spent on the development of our local community’s prosperity. XAMODX is acknowledged by world standards, and our miners have become more responsible for occupational health and safety in the workplace and they work sustainable.”

Fairmined and Ecological Gold jewellery and other products are available in 18 countries, including Australia and countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia, and can be bought online. Brands interested in sourcing Fairmined Gold for their products can find suppliers in the US, Canada, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Spain and Colombia. High-end luxury accessories produced by Chopard and Gucci now use fairmined and ecological gold in their products, and Nobel Prize laureates now receive medals made from fairmined and ecological gold.

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