Society Artisanal, Minespider partner to export conflict-free artisanal gold

Gold from eastern Congo. (Reference image by Enough Project, Flickr.)

Society Artisanal, a company that partners with artisanal mining cooperatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to export conflict-free artisanal gold, has announced a partnership with Minespider, a technology company offering a blockchain-based platform and digital product passports to implement traceability and prove provenance and sustainable production of gold.

In a media statement, the companies said that Society Artisanal (SA) will use Minespider’s platform to track gold from the mine to its smelting facility with further plans to scale traceability beyond the refinery. The first blockchain-traced shipment will be exported in June 2024.

Kinshasa and Dallas-based Society Artisanal said it is developing professional mine management practices in the DRC, improving mineral extraction methods and ensuring that all safety and health, environmental and sustainability norms are met in line with international regulation standards such as the OECD Annex II Due Diligence Guidance, as well as guidelines established within US and EU law. 

According to SA, its gold is only sourced from company-led mine sites with supervision by third-party due diligence organizations. The yellow metal is then smelted into branded ingot bars, stamped with a unique number and mine site ID and prepared for export to L’Orfebre gold refinery in Andorra. 

“Every mineral should have a passport and gold is no exception,” Nathan Williams, founder and CEO of Minespider, said in the press brief.

“The DRC has been perceived as a conflict region for a long time, so many companies avoid sourcing minerals from the region,” Williams said. “However, the situation is evolving thanks to organizations like Society Artisanal that drive sustainable mining practices together with local miners and ensure that gold is conflict-free and produced in accordance with all international standards, including conflict-free regulations and the EU Critical Minerals Act.”