On Thursday, August 8, 2013, RESOLVE’s Solutions Network convened a Solutions for Hope (SfH) dialogue to discuss opportunities to test and incentivize sourcing of conflict-free gold from the Great Lakes Region of Africa and potentially other regions.
Sponsored by Qualcomm and Motorola Solutions, the meeting was attended by non-governmental organizations, electronics companies, jewelers, refiners/smelters, government agencies and other leaders on these issues. (See attached list.)
Participants discussed the following:
- Examples of successful efforts to establish closed-pipe supply chains for conflict free minerals from the region
- Obstacles and incentives for downstream companies evaluating sourcing options
- Short- and long-term objectives for a pilot and a scaled-up program
- Unique characteristics of gold supply chains and important elements to test
- The important linkage between transparency to differentiate conflict-free sources and the need to build capacity and support development in ASM communities
While many ideas were offered were offered, including several that should be further explored, the group coalesced around the following:
- ASM/Supply Chain Transparency & Development Strategy—The importance of strengthening capacity to advance development solutions, as a complement to diplomatic and peace-building strategies, in or near conflict or post-conflict regions as the most effective approach. This should be coupled with efforts to promote transparent supply chains. A number of participants expressed an interest in working together to build a shared development strategy related to the challenge of conflict minerals.
- Small-scale, In-Region Refiner Pilot—The development of a “value add” pilot project, pairing conflict-free mines with a small-scale, in-region gold refinery, which could provide jobs, decrease smuggling, increase in-region retention of wealth from local gold, and stimulate the economy through the creation or enhancement of a local jewelry manufacturing sector. In the right location, a refinery could also become an effective draw (and choke-point) for conflict free gold.
- Closed Pipe, In Region Pilots—A closed-pipe sourcing pilot involving a partnership model for large and small-scale mining in DRC and/or ASM sites. This could include “certifying” the conflict free nature of the material at a key point in the supply chain to provide informal sanction and legitimacy.
RESOLVE has organized project teams to identify next steps and begin to develop each of these pilots. Updates on their progress will be posted on this website.