What gemstones are available? How do I buy them as a jeweler or as a jewelry customer?
Rubies, a range of sapphires and garnets, and green tourmalines are frequently mined in this region.
What is ASM?
Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) describes mining done by individuals or small-groups of people who use limited technology to mine the earth. It is not a small phenomena: approximately 90% of all mining labor in the world is done by ASM workers. It takes place in 80 countries worldwide, and all continents except for Antarctica. They produce up to 25% of all gold mined globally each year, 20% of all diamonds, and between 80-90% of colored gemstones (precious and semi-precious). While it can be unfairly maligned as 'dirty' and 'chaotic', ASM can be some of the hardest working people that you meet. When you meet the miners, one quickly changes any preconceptions. And an estimated 30% of ASM are women. Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Malawi, Madagascar, and Ghana have particularly high numbers of lady miners.
What is CRAFT? How does it relate to the OECD Due Diligence Guidance (OECD DDG)?
The Code of Risk-mitigation for ASM engaging in Formal Trade (CRAFT) is a code of progressive compliance for ASM producers. It is also a tool for buyers to apply due diligence in the sector, with a focus on a continuous development and improvement. The current CRAFT Code (version 1.0) was released in July 2018. Moyo Gemstones is currently involved in developing and trialing CRAFT for Gemstones. CRAFT is an open-source code released under the Creative Commons and may be used by any stakeholder in the ASM supply chain, as well as by development organizations, among others.
CRAFT is closely aligned with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance, and specifically modules (components) 3 and 4 are directly linked to the risks described the OECD DDG “Annex II.” All technical support will reinforce CRAFT standards and Tanzanian mining law.
What are the program rules?
The program was co-created directly with the women of the Tanzania Women Miners Association (TAWOMA) via participatory workshops in June 2018 and March 2019. The inaugural members agreed to attend occupational health and safety trainings, on environmental goals, and on community reinvestment priorities.
Are these fair trade stones?
No, these have not been certified by the Fairtrade Labelling Organization nor the World Fair Trade Organization (to our knowledge, a FLO or WFTO certified gemstone does not exist). However, we deliberately align with all 10 Principles of Fair Trade, such as providing opportunities for disadvantaged producers (remote, female artisanal gem miners), improving working conditions, capacity building, fair payment, gender equity, and more. We believe this is the closest effort to date to attain the spirit of the standard.
Are all the miners women?
The vast majority of miners are women, but not all. However, there are indeed some men who are participating. We leave membership decisions up to our partner, the Tanzania Women Miners Association (TAWOMA). Some men in the region have been longtime members, and we think that's terrific. We will publish participant statistics in the coming months.
I am a gemstone mining group outside of Tanzania. How can I be a part of this?
We were born in Tanzania but we have Pan-African dreams. We are currently focusing on proving consumer demand and ensuring that we have the operational model right. Opportunities to expand will happen opportunistically and will prioritize locations where women miners are active.
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