2019 was a special year

Marcin Piersiak (ARM’s executive director) reflections:

The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM)

Celebrated its 15th anniversary.

A fascinating journey, inspired by the Colombian Chocó’s Oro Verde (Green Gold) initiative, which made the idea of connecting responsible artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) with ethical gold markets a reality. 2020 has been a global surprise, the COVID-19 pandemic is changing how we see the world and behave. Even though 2019 is far away, today we want to look back on all our achievements and learned lessons to apply them to a year such as this one.

Today we are more than 50 professionals, mostly women, based in Colombia, France, Burkina Faso and Peru,


who are all committed to a vision of legitimate, responsible and profitable artisanal and small-scale mining that promotes inclusive and sustainable development.

Our offices



Burkina Faso


Reaching important milestones:

Thanks to our partners and refiners committed to ethical and sustainable supply chains, the Fairmined premium raised $5 million over the last five years which were invested in better working conditions in mines, environmental management, technification and productivity increase, and community projects.



In 2019, the Fairmined premium exceeded ARM’s total budget for the first time – a remarkable benefit-cost ratio for the organization! We also saw the first collaborations between goldcoal miners and buyers using the CRAFT standard, which promotes co-responsibility along supply chains. 

From a perspective on the last decade (2010-2019) and with a total budget of about $10 million for 10 years, we have marked a difference through projects and consultancies in 17 mineral-producing and 27 gold-consuming countries, contributing to the recognition of ASM as a legitimate opportunity to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

Like anyone with teenage children knows, turning 15 is not only the age for experiencing and innovating but also for making important decisions. After having learned a lot, 2020 is a time for reflection to redesign our model based on CRAFT and Fairmined standards to maximize its impact, optimize its application efficiency and make it more inclusive – adapted to new audiences on a more progressive path. 

Taking advantage of the pandemic, which has forced us to stay at home, we are strengthening the significance of our name “Alliance”, ensuring that our model has an attractive value proposition for all those interested in working hand in hand to have a greater impact on artisanal and small-scale mining communities.

For sustainable growth, we continue to consolidate our organization, especially by strengthening our human resources. Thanks to the commitment and hard work of our enthusiastic team, the organization’s achievements have been made possible! – in addition to the efforts made by our allied communities and organizations.

We are also, step by step, expanding our geographical scope, which calls for adapting our organizational, governance and leadership structures. After leading ARM for three years and an important contribution to “globalizing” the organization, in early 2020 Yves Bertran concentrated his efforts on preparing our growth strategy in Africa from ARM Europe. Thank you, Yves! In addition, our Board of Directors expanded in 2020 to integrate new geographic perspectives and ideas.

Since its inception, ARM has proudly been a Southern organization – born in Latin America.

We want our brain, heart and eyes to stay in the South ,

To maintain idealistic and pragmatic awareness on global agenda issues that affect our main audience – artisanal and small-scale miners. Addressing the challenges and opportunities that artisanal and small-scale mining offers requires that all supply chain agents and governments of producing and consuming countries take some of the responsibility.

Our commitment is to make CRAFT and Fairmined the roadmap for all of this, facilitating the connection among sector actors to work hand in hand and making artisanal and small-scale mining a source of pride for both miners and consumers!