Reports & Publications

We believe that sharing our expertise is vital for achieving our vision and mission . This is why we publish reports, blog, and do public speaking as much as possible. We also believe in respecting intellectual property, so rigorous citation is core to how we present information and we expect others who use our work to do the same. At the same time, it is essential that we respect the confidentiality and copyright requirements of our clients, and so only a sample of our work is available on this page. If there’s something you know we’ve researched or produced and it’s not here, please get in touch to see if we can help you.

ASM Resilience Pathway

Since 2015, several dialogue series intended to achieve better governance of the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector in Madagascar have been initiated by GIZ’s Program for the Support of the Management of the Environment (PAGE), with funding from the Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Commerce, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Mines and Petrol. These dialogues bring the public sector, the private sector, and civil society round the table together, facilitating a better understanding of the realities at the local level, whilst reinforcing synergies and exchange between the different stakeholders.

Click Image to Download French Version

ELL Senior Manager, Andrew Cooke, participated in a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the 27th and 28th October 2016 in Antananarivo, Madagascar. His presentation during the workshop clarified the approaches to responsible production and sustainable development in the artisanal mining sector, helping stakeholders place the Madagascan ASM sector in the spectrum between illicit ASM and fully responsible, certified production. The report (available in French and English here) summarises the presentation and provides recommendations for the responsible production of precious stones and gold in Madagascar.

Included in the approach is the ASM Resilience Pathway, available here. The ASM Resilience Pathway allows actors to determine where a country or community is on its journey towards becoming a system that enables sustainable business. Principal contributing factors include legal and policy environment, human rights protections, level of formalisation of sector businesses, quality of risk management and so on. Once the geographic area is mapped, guidance is given to ascertain what types of interventions would be most appropriate to help pull the sector towards a state where legal enterprise and sustainable development can become the norm.

ASM Resilience Flyer

ASM Resilience Flyer – Click image for full version

GIFF Mapping IFFs in ASGM

New handbook helps you identify financial flows linked to Artisanal Gold Mining

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’.

Credible, comprehensive, and comprehensible data is desperately needed to better understand financial flows linked to Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM). 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.

GIFF Launch

The handbook is publicly available and provides actors with:

  • A primer on terminology to ensure comprehension on key issues;
  • Analysis of the key issues pertaining to ASGM and Illicit Financial Flows (IFF); and
  • The tools needed to:
    • increase their knowledge and understanding of financial flows, in particular illicit financial flows (IFFs) linked to the ASGM sector;
    • build their capacity to analyse and effectively capitalise on opportunities; and
    • mitigate and respond to challenges and obstacles IFFs pose to the formalisation of the ASGM sector and other development objectives.

Click Image to Download Case Study

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.

GIFF project director Estelle Levin-Nally said: “Our aim at GIFF is that this handbook leads to improved due diligence and planning for all actors involved in supply chain management and due diligence in the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining sector, so that stakeholders are equipped to optimise the opportunities that minerals offer for sustainable development.”

We look forward to seeing what advances can be made through application of the handbook’s tools now that it is ready to use!  Do keep in touch and tell us if/how you use it, what you found, and what impact this had on realising your goals.

Improving Marketing and Sales of Mongolian Jewellery: Scoping Mission Report

In ELL’s 2015 report, “Improving Marketing and Sales of Mongolian Jewellery: Scoping Mission Report” we explore the potential for Mongolia’s gold jewellery sector to serve as an opportunity for socio-economic development.

This report assesses mineral market potential for a leading emerging economy. The risk of Dutch Disease and over-dependence on mining for economic growth has encouraged the Mongolian Government to seek diversification and investment in other industries, including jewellery. As a result, several government initiatives and ministries, as well as private sector-led initiatives, are already well positioned to support the development of Mongolia’s jewellery sector.

This report features best practice in genuine partnership with local experts. Jamiyansuren Onolt, a prestigious Mongolian calligrapher, artist, and goldsmith, provided research and coordination support for ELL throughout the project.

This report connects the needs of international leaders with local Mongolian producers. ELL consulted and scoped international mission-based jewellers to better understand their interest and ability, as well as the challenges and opportunities to: incorporating Mongolian jewellery design and/or manufacture into their supply chains, or to distribute Mongolian crafted jewellery. We built upon rich work done by previous researchers to continue and enliven a discourse about the market potential of Mongolian high-end and handcraft gold jewellery sector.

To learn more about:

  • Key opportunities and barriers to working with the Mongolian jewellery sector;
  • Market potential for high end and handcrafted gold jewellery in domestic and international markets; or
  • A Jewellery Programme for sectoral development among Mongolian jewellers;

This work was conducted through generous funding provided by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) with support from the Sustainable Artisanal Mining Project (SAM) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SADC).

Comparative analysis of ASM strategies in four countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America (Ghana, Tanzania, Peru and Philippines)

ELL was commissioned to conduct this comparative analysis of ASM strategies of four countries by PROMINES, with financing provided by the World Bank. It was a deliverable submitted as part of a larger project “Development of a Strategic Document on ASM in DRC” in which ELL, PACT and IPIS worked to develop a strategic plan and action plan for SAESSCAM, the organisation mandated with the formalisation of the ASM sector in DRC. The objective of the comparative analysis of four countries is to find models and best practices that could inspire the formulation of the DRC’s national policy and strategy towards an ASM sector that contributes to poverty reduction through the creation of stable and dignified employment opportunities, as well as to GDP growth through an increased mineral production. Following a rapid scoping analysis of nine countries, four countries where chosen for the analysis: Ghana, Tanzania, Peru and the Philippines.

The report draws the following conclusions:

Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) is highly relevant in all four countries. ASM miners comprise a significant percentage of the rural population in all countries, and the sector contributes importantly not only to livelihoods but also to the national GDP. However instead of being incorporated into poverty reduction strategies, the ASM sector is seeing increasing criminalisation and margnialisation by governments. This largely negative portrayal overlooks the great diversity which exists within the sector and obscures the multiple cases where ASM complies or has the intention to comply with all local legislation and best practice. Following this trend of neglect, the rising gold prices of the past decade finally allowed many artisanal operators to invest in mechanization and to up-scale their mines.  Existing operations became more intensive and new actors entered, seeking quick profits. By outgrowing their category and not conforming with terms of larger scale mining according to the general mining law, some of these mines have in fact become “illegal”. With most ASM legislations dating back to the period of the 1980s to early 2000s, entire legal frameworks for ASM became outdated and virtually “collapsed” under the gold-rush of the 2000s. Under these circumstances political decision makers started to “panic”, responding with heavy-handed interdiction approaches. Chances that this approach leads to sustainable results are considered minimal. Among the four countries compared in this paper, Tanzania appears to be the only country not attempting to battle against illegal mining but focusing on improving the livelihoods and practices of small-scale miners. While Peru had similar intentions, their decision to delegate responsibilities to regional governments which did not have the adequate resources to manage the ASM sector stalled their progress. In all countries, mining authorities tend to prioritise large mining corporations who contribute with high taxation to the expense of ASM who are marginal taxpayers.

Based upon these conclusions and lessons learned from these countries, the report draws fundamental recommendations on formulating a national strategy for empowering a productive and sustainable ASM sector.

A French summary can be viewed here.

An analysis of the commercial potential of Ethiopia’s coloured gemstone industry

This scoping study of Ethiopia’s colored gemstones industry examines the following: the present state of the industry, primarily in commercial and social development terms; which features of the industry and its governance are either improving or limiting its commercial success, and why; and the key ‘lessons learned’ from what other gemstone producing countries around the world have done to commercialise this industry, and how they could be constructively applied to the Ethiopian context.

The study was motivated by The World Bank’s recognition of the Ethiopian government’s desire to further develop its colored gemstone sector, and the five-year plan it launched in January 2015 with that goal in mind. A clearer understanding of the commercial realities of this sector and how it is governed will improve The World Bank’s ability to potentially work with the government to help it realize its objectives for this important industry.

Rough waiting to be polished

Rough stones waiting to be polished

This report’s case study analyses of Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Madagascar, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Tanzania identify the ways in which these countries have worked to establish functional colored gemstone industries and improve their commercialisation. Like Ethiopia, some of those countries are developing, while others have long histories of strong economic performance. Positive and negative lessons can be learnt from these case studies in terms of how these countries have realised, or struggled to realise, their goals, and both are valuable for illuminating the path that Ethiopia could potentially take.


Comparative Study of Certification and Traceability Systems in the DRC

From 2013-2015, ELL provided guidance to PROMINES, the implementing body for the World Bank’s Project to Support the Mining Sector in DRC on building a robust fabric for good governance of its minerals sector through supply chain traceability and certification. ELL carried out a comparative analysis of the certification and traceability systems in place in the DRC and in the world, in order to propose a system that is appropriate to the needs of the country, coherent with the procedures of the ICGLR’s Regional Certification Mechanism (RCM), and responsive to international requirements. The results were used to propose how to govern Congolese mineral supply chains through private sector mechanisms that respond to the realities of the Congolese context and the expectations of the Congolese government in terms of efficacy and cost, whilst being in conformance with the demands of the ICGLR and the final consumers of relevant minerals in terms of conformance with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance.

Over the course of this research, over 200 Congolese and 50 international interlocutors representing a wide range of upstream and downstream conflict mineral supply chain stakeholders. Fieldwork covered sixteen mining and associated trading sites, ten of which were for gold. ELL also developed and used two analytical frameworks, keeping in mind the international, regional and national frameworks that such a system must align with. The first establishes the key elements of a conflict minerals assurance system and the second provides a framework for evaluating the sustainability performance of a traceability and due diligence system.

A comparative analysis was done on the following certification initiatives: the DRC’s Certified Trading Chains; iTSCi’s Tin Supply Chain Initiative; the Better Sourcing Program and MineralCare’s GoldCare & 3TCare. Furthermore, three additional traceability initiatives were compared: PWC’s GeoTraceability; MetTrak’s software solution and SERCAM. Other relevant standards not currently operational in the DRC were also considered as potentially of use for increasing the DRC’s conformance with the OECD Guidance and the ICGLR’s RCM, and special attention was given to the certification of gold due to its particularities that make it more prone to illegal trade.

The following general recommendations can be drawn from the comparative analysis:

  • Mine site validation to be streamlined and accelerated.
  • ASM miner cooperatives and small companies should be granted greater security of tenure and should be issued with an increased number of ASM permits.
  • The DRC government needs to ensure that cooperatives bring tangible benefits to ASM miners.
  • Any traceability system will depend upon government agents, so capacity-building of government agencies is a priority.
  • There is a need to consider how the costs of upstream due diligence can be distributed more fairly so the burden is not placed disproportionately on the most vulnerable in the chain.
  • In order for companies to be able to rely upon assurance systems operational in DRC, DRC must insist that any initiative with which it signs a Memorandum of Understanding has undergone an OECD DDG conformance check.
  • DRC should aggregate and publish data, statistics and reports of relevance to downstream buyers of ‘conflict minerals’.
  • As part of its consideration as to allowing new initiatives to operate in DRC, the government should demand that these initiatives present information on their business model including how they will be financed.
  • The GDRC needs to establish and publish its procedure for vetting and approving a conflict minerals initiative or traceability service provider.

To view the executive summary please click here.

Pour la version française, cliquez ici.

Pour le résumé. cliquez ici.

Pour les annexes, cliquez ici.