Mongolia’s first-ever precious metal expo: planetGOLD Mongolia promotes ASGM on a national platform
By Odonchimeg Idersaikhan - June 9, 2022
The planetGOLD Mongolia project advocated for a responsible artisanal gold supply chain and investment opportunities during the country’s first-ever Precious Metals and Jewellery Forum and Expo in April 2022.
The three-day event, co-organized by the planetGOLD Mongolia project, was the result of collaboration between many organizations in the minerals supply chain sector including government ministries, civil society organizations and the private sector. The planetGOLD Mongolia team highlighted the rights and reality of Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Miners (ASGM) and advocated for topics such as formalization of the industry, due diligence, gold traceability and transparency and access to finance.
The planetGOLD Mongolia project is funded by the Global Environment Facility, led by the United Nations Environment Programme and United Nations Industrial Development Organization and executed by the Artisanal Gold Council in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia.
Precious Metal and Jewellery Forum
On Day 1, Mongolia’s very first Precious Metal and Jewellery Forum was held in Ulaanbaatar and attended by about 60 sector stakeholders, including the Bank of Mongolia, Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry, Ministry of Culture, Mineral Resources and Petroleum and the Financial Regulatory Commission. Other attendees included the Precious Metal Assay and Inspection Department, Customs Agency, Taxation agency, General Agency for Specialized Investigation, civil society organizations, Artisanal and Small-scale Mining National Federation, the Association of Jewellers, jewellery sellers, gold traders and artisanal gold miners.
The forum provided a useful platform to introduce the planetGOLD Mongolia project and discuss gold supply chain issues as well as highlight the importance of formalization of ASGM to connect artisanal miners with responsible gold markets. Ms. Dulguun Mijiddorj, Investment Specialist of planetGOLD Mongolia, delivered a presentation on due diligence issues, ethical jewellery demand, gold trade practices in other countries and the importance of investments in ASGM for responsible gold production from mine to markets. In the dual capacity of co-organizer and presenter, the project team advocated for a responsible ASGM sector at the forum.
Forum discussions touched on the need to monitor the traceability and origin of gold in Mongolia, formalization of the ASGM sector, ore processing and the gold trade. Other topics included the need to determine the annual volume of artisanal gold produced within the country, the necessity for an integrated policy on the precious metal sector and the approval of the new ASM regulation.
Precious Metal and Jewellery Expo
More than 50 stakeholders such as jewellery makers, traders, government representatives and banks participated in the expo. Government agencies and banks provided information about their services to expo participants and jewellery sellers offered products at 30-40% discount rates to attendees.
The planetGOLD Mongolia booth was visited by more than 500 people – including special guests such as the first President of Mongolia and the US Ambassador to Mongolia. Also dropping by the booth were members of the private sector, financial experts, artisanal miners, gold traders and the general public.
To introduce the project and increase knowledge on the sector, the team distributed print copies of brochures e.g. on mercury-free technologies and gender issues in the sector as well as reports on gold trade policy and ASGM formalization. The team also used the opportunity to explain opportunities and challenges in the ASGM sector to the visitors at the booth. One of the main goals of the project is to break down negative perceptions the public holds about the ASGM sector and explain the practice of responsible ASGM. The planetGOLD Mongolia team also discussed the elimination of clandestine mercury use in artisanal mining. Mercury is banned in Mongolia due to its negative effects on health and the environment.
As co-organizer of the Forum and Expo, the planetGOLD Mongolia team believes the event was a great success because it brought together various stakeholders of the gold supply chain. The event also allowed the planetGOLD Mongolia project to share information about project activities, the importance of responsible gold trade and the formalized ASGM sector. Organizers plan to hold the expo every April and the planetGOLD Mongolia team plans to share lessons learned from the project’s mercury-free processing systems in 2023.
About the planetGOLD Mongolia project
The planetGOLD Mongolia project is working towards the formalization and professionalization of artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector in Mongolia, including the elimination of mercury use in gold processing. The team is working with various stakeholders along the gold supply chain – miners, gold traders, local and national governments as well as civil society – to sustainably improve artisanal mining operations as an important economic opportunity for remote communities and to support the revision of regulations governing the sector. In partnership with the national government, the project team is working to create an enabling environment for a formalized artisanal mining sector that enhances community development, improves productivity and eliminates the use of mercury.
For more information about the planetGOLD project, please visit www.planetgold.org/Mongolia and please contact Ms. Odonchimeg Idersaikhan, planetGOLD Mongolia Communications Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org