News

Here are a few of our recent news stories.

Launch of the GIFF handbook and Case Study

March 8, 2017

GIFF Launch

The GIFF project partners – Estelle Levin Limited and the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime – are proud to release the culmination of many months of discussion and research: ‘Follow the Money: A handbook for identifying financial flows linked to Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining’.

This landmark handbook  provides practical tools, techniques, methodologies and pointers for stakeholders seeking to broaden their understanding of and engage with the financial flows linked to ASGM, including the sub-set of illicit financial flows (IFFs) that implicate parts of the sector with corruption, money laundering and organized crime.

Alongside the handbook we are also releasing our first case study demonstrating application of the handbook’s methodology to analyse the IFFs surrounding the ASGM sector in Sierra Leone, showing its practical application and the importance of financial mapping to a meaningful understanding of ASGM.

To read more about this launch head over to our publications page.

Sector Experts on the GIFF Handbook:

Manuel Papouschek, GIZ
“For GIZ it was important to fund the GIFF Toolkit in order to raise awareness and increase knowledge on illicit financial flows linked to the ASM sector and how they impede formalisation efforts. We hope that the toolkit will serve to effectively mitigate and respond to these specific challenges and barriers to a sustainable use and development of the ASM sector.”

GIFF project director, Estelle Levin-Nally
“S/he who controls the money controls the means. Our aim at GIFF is that this handbook leads to improved due diligence and planning for all actors involved in instituting good governance around and doing better business with the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining sector. Ultimately, this handbook will help governments, buyers, development agencies and NGOs remove barriers to formalisation and help optimise the opportunities that minerals offer for sustainable development.

Ludovic Bernaudat, Programme Officer, GEF Team, UNEP
“Understanding financial flows in the Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining is key to the development of any intervention to supporting the sector”.

Michael Mesaric, CEO, Valcambi SA
“Through shedding an important light on the significant challenges illicit financial flows pose to the ASGM sector and to its formalization, this publication is a useful tool for gold businesses along the supply chain”.

Fair Luxury 2017 is here

March 8, 2017

This unique two-day event brings together pioneers in the responsible jewellery sector, offering insights from and for both the small retailer and the biggest brands.

The only conference of its kind, FLUX brings together stakeholders across the supply chain here in the UK – the leader of fair luxury and jewelry. We have helped organise and participate in the conference for the second year running to push forward the sustainable luxury agenda.

Come, share, learn and join us in making an impact that will multiply and transcend borders.

FLUX is a two day event. Delegates can book for each day individually or both days together at a discounted rate and can do so by clicking here.

 

ELL joins Cambridge Social Ventures, to deepen our social impact and do better business with our clients

January 24, 2017

Estelle Levin Limited is delighted to join twelve other businesses in Cohort 7 of Cambridge Social Ventures, a programme in the Centre for Social Innovationof the Cambridge Judge Business School of the University of Cambridge. CSV is dedicated to supporting businesses seeking to make a positive social or environmental impact.

Cambridge Social Ventures offers us a great opportunity to consolidate on recent rapid growth to build resilience into the business and our ventures, whilst ensuring that we maximise our social and environmental impact, fulfilling our mission of helping minerals transform society for good.

The 12-month programme kicked off with a 3-day training event at the Future Business Centre in Cambridge. Informative sessions on measuring social impact, finance, visioning and branding provided a platform for lively discussions and the sharing of experiences with other socially-minded businesses. Our attendees, Estelle Levin-Nally (ELL Director) and Andrew Cooke (ELL Senior Manager) are thankful for this chance to enhance ELL’s business capabilities and have returned empowered to better steer the team towards reaching its highest potential in making a difference. We look forward to cooperating with CSV and the other social entrepreneurs making innovation through impact.

Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition

January 24, 2017

ELL will be attending the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) Outreach Meeting in Brussels on January 26th. Come and meet ELL representatives Yolande Kyngdon-McKay and Kate MacLeod who are happy to talk more about our service offerings, experience and thought leadership on responsible sourcing of raw materials.

ELL has been contracted by the European Commission to develop due diligence guidelines on conflict minerals for small-medium enterprises (SMEs). We therefore welcome the chance to talk to participating SMEs and their business partners and associations on how they are managing to implement conflict mineral due diligence as part of our ongoing work for this project.

Other projects that may interest EICC members include:

  • Environmental Profit & Loss accounting for a major consumer brand
  • Due diligence and supply chain management on coloured gems for a major consumer brand
  • Building due diligence systems for the world’s biggest gold refinery
  • Due diligence on child protection issues, including mitigation and remediation
  • Facilitating responsible production systems for African governments
  • Designing the ICGLR mineral tracking database and training ICGLR officials on its implementation

For more information or to arrange a meeting with ELL during the EICC Outreach Meeting, please contact Kate at kate@nullestellelevin.com.

Contract Awarded by European Commission

January 20, 2017

Estelle Levin and Edif ERA awarded contract by European Commission to design a conflict minerals due diligence support system for SMEs

Estelle Levin Ltd. (ELL) and Edif ERA have recently been awarded a contract by the European Commission to design a comprehensive support system for EU small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) regarding conflict minerals in 2017. The aim is to enhance due diligence capacity in the EU’s SME sector.

Dr Yolande Kyngdon-McKay, Manager at ELL and Project Manager for the contract said, “This is an important and timely piece of work, given the growing trend for developed world governments, NGOs and consumers to demand greater accountability from companies for what happens in their supply chains, including those importing tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high risk areas.”

The project will involve undertaking research and gathering data from SMEs in the EU that currently import conflict minerals. Working closely with the OECD and other stakeholders, the project team will develop management guidelines for SMEs together with training tools and educational resources.  This will help SMEs to better understand the issues, reconsider their sourcing practices and so make their supply chains more transparent.

Dr Alex Martin, Senior Regulatory Consultant at Edif ERA, added “SMEs are a crucial part of the supply chain of virtually all mineral-dependent industries. Within the EU, SMEs account for 99% of all companies and therefore have a significant role to play in supply chain due diligence. SMEs in the EU need to possess adequate due diligence skills in order to remain competitive both at home, and globally.”

If you have any questions about this project, please email the project manager

Dr Yolande Kyngdon-McKay: yolande@nullestellelevin.com.

If you are an SME in the EU, involved in importing 3TGs, and would like to participate in this research, please email Dr Alex Martin: alex.martin@nulledifera.com

November 2016 Newsletter

November 14, 2016

A lot is happening at ELL and we have several exciting developments to share.


Connections

ELL core staff will be attending the following conferences over the next month and would welcome the opportunity to connect with you:

8-10 November
Palo Alto, USA
CFSI Annual Meeting and Conference 2016 Presenting on Tools for Supply Chain Due Diligence Dr Fabiana Di Lorenzo (Presenting)
30 November- 1 December
Berlin, Germany
Conflict Minerals Supply Chain Compliance and Transparency Forum Compliance and Transparency – Responsibility and Efficiency Conference presenting on Prevent, Detect, Respond to Child Labour and Child Rights Risks in Minerals Supply Chains Dr Fabiana Di Lorenzo (Presenting)
22 November London Natural Resources Forum
Rolling Stones: Moss or Momentum? An insight into the Gemstones Industry.
Estelle Levin-Nally
1-2 December
Bogotá, Columbia
OECD Latin American Workshop on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains Olivia Lyster


Optimising the Minerals System: present work

Our present work includes projects in Brazil, Burkina Faso, Colombia, DRC, Ethiopia, Guinea, Liberia, Madagascar, Mongolia, Rwanda, and Switzerland, to name just a few. We continue to drive forward the debate and practices for enabling responsible mining and responsible sourcing from artisanal and small-scale miners of coloured stones, precious metals, diamonds, conflict minerals and rare earths.

Dark Gold HandCredit: Magnus Arrevad

The GIFF Project: ELL, in partnership with the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, has undertaken this project to provide greater insight into how illicit financial flows (IFFs) are impeding the formalisation of artisanal gold mining.

To read about May’s international dialogue at the OECD, click here
To get different perspectives on IFFs in ASM, read the GIFF blog series, click here
Stay tuned for the release of the GIFF Tool for Intervention in Illicit Financial Flows in Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining later this month.
If you want to learn how to take what we’re doing for gold and apply it to other minerals get in touch with Asher Smith
Follow @GIFFProject on Twitter. #FollowtheMoney

Corporate & Private Sector Work: From Brazil to Burkina Faso, ELL is supporting corporate clients with responsible sourcing across mineral categories, including conflict minerals. We are at the cutting edge of due diligence practice providing bespoke, personalised support. We can adapt our tools for precision upstream due diligence across the full range of risks in mineral supply chains, including child labour. If you are looking to improve supply chain sustainability, for a responsible source for your mineral, or need an investor for your responsible mineral initiative, please get in touch with Estelle.

Mineral Sector Development: ELL has completed its project for the Government of Ethiopia to design and deliver training of trainers in responsible mining of salt, gold and gemstones. This month we start work in Guinea conducting diagnostic assessments of their gold and diamonds sectors, and also begin a 4-year project in Kenya on their extractives sector. Our work on good governance and ICGLR database design in the Great Lakes Region continues. Contact Adam Rolfe.

Mining, Minerals & Environment: BEST-ASM and Frugal Rehabilitation: In early 2017 ELL will launch a new initiative to improve the environmental performance of Artisanal and Small-scale Mining. Taking a practical and progressive approach to achieving positive environmental outcomes across all mineral sectors, the BEST-ASM initiative seeks to develop and universalise the application of tools such as the Frugal Rehabilitation Methodology pioneered in Mongolia by the Swiss government’s ESEC II programme. If you are looking to advance best practice in environmental management in ASM contact Andrew Cooke.

Yellow Bucket 1Credit: Asher Smith, 2016
Location: Koinadugu District, Sierra Leone.
Artisanal gold miners spend a 3 hour shift down the mine shaft digging gravel. Full buckets are pulled up to crewmates at the surface.

Just Published!

Exploring the potential in Mongolia’s Jewellery Sector: In 2014, ELL advised GIZ and SDC on how to redirect Mongolia’s ailing jewellery sector towards prosperity, whilst adding value to Mongolia’s gold supply chains. In this report, we explore ways to support Mongolian jewellery design and/or manufacturing by connecting it with international markets.

Ethiopia’s Coloured Gemstones Sector: This study maps the landscape of Ethiopia’s coloured gemstone industry and draws best practices from other key gemstone producing countries, to provide strategic guidance to the Government of Ethiopia on how to leverage its opals for sustainable development.

Ethiopian artisanal minersCredit: Adam Rolfe, 2016
Location: Tigray, Ethiopia
Paying attention Ethiopian artisanal miners pay attention as colleagues teach ELL trainers on the technical training needs of women in this gold community

New Staff

ELL now has 14 core team members, and a growing network of associates to service our clients’ needs. This includes three hires in the last month.

We are pleased to welcome our two new Researcher and Project Assistants: Kate MacLeod who started on the 11th October and Theodora Panayides who started on the 31st October.

We also look forward to welcoming our new Responsible Mineral Sourcing and Development Specialist, Victoria Gronwald who will start on the 5th December.

Offices

Our Team is now truly global, with core members based in:

Germany: Contact Fabiana Di Lorenzo

Singapore: Contact Yolande Kyngdon-McKay

Washington, D.C.: Contact Asher Smith

Cambridge, UK Office:
Wellington House
Cambridge
CB1 1BH
United Kingdom
01223 450 200

Did you know that ELL has staff that are fluent in Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese? We work in other languages too, and through our associates have additional languages from Krio to Bahasa Indonesian. Get in touch!


Recognition

We are proud to announce:

Estelle has been re-elected onto the Responsible Jewellery Council Committee for another 3 year term. For more information, click here

Estelle was awarded highly commended in the STEM Category of the London & South-east Regional Finals for the National Women in Business Awards, 2016. For more information, click here