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Fairmined™ Gold Certification

Sustainable Development for Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining
Catherine Hansen, Technical Sales Executive, Jewelry & Conflict Mineralsphone icon860.706.4928 Email
Gold Miners

Demonstrate your commitment to sustainability in the artisanal mining industry by trading or processing Fairmined™ certified gold as an Authorized Operator, Authorized Licensee, or First Authorized Buyer. Fairmined certification signals that your gold and associated precious metals are mined from small-scale and artisanal mines (ASM) following strict requirements for environmental protection, fair labor conditions, and economic development in mining communities.

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Program Details

Buyers, refiners, distributors, manufacturers and jewelers and other users of Fairmined certified gold and associated precious metals are eligible to earn distinction as Fairmined Authorized Operators, Fairmined Authorized Licencees, or First Authorized Buyers.

Fairmined Certification Criteria

The Fairmined Standard was developed with stakeholders in the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) network. It includes requirements for:

  • Traceability
  • Social development
  • Economic development
  • Conflict mitigation
  • Environmental protection
  • Ethical labor conditions
  1. Prepare Data and Documentation

    An SCS technical associate provides you with a Data Request Form (DRF) that helps you define the certification scope and assemble supporting evidence.

  2. Audit

    • Operators and Licensees

      Documentation audits are required for those seeking Authorized Operator or Authorized Licensee status.

    • First Authorized Buyers
      On-site assessments are required for First Authorized Buyers, consistent with Fairmined requirements.

  3. Report Findings and Recommendations

    Our auditor’s draft report details the findings of the audit, including data analyses, non-conformities, and opportunities for improvement. SCS conducts an internal technical review of the audit report, then delivers the report to you.

  4. Correct Non-Conformities

    You respond to all non-conformities with a Corrective Action Plan. You may also make comments and responses to the information contained in the report and the conclusions drawn by the auditor.

    All major con-conformities must be addressed by operators and licensees before certification. In the event of a major non-conformance, ARM and SCS jointly decide whether or not further assessment via an on-site audit is required.

  5. Authorize

    SCS makes the final authorization decision. If approved, SCS issues the authorization certificate and final report to your facility or operation. Once certified, your company is listed in the Green Products Guide on the SCS website.

  6. Renew Authorization

    Periodic audits are conducted to maintain your certification and support continual improvement.


Becoming a Fairmined Authorized Operator, Fairmined Licensee, or First Authorized Buyer enables you to:

  • Demonstrate your commitment to ethical sourcing
  • Engage in actions that benefit workers, communities, and the environment
  • Market the high quality and artisanal nature of your raw materials  
  • Reinforce trust in the value of your brand
What is the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM)?

ARM is a global pioneering initiative established in 2004 to foster sustainable artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). Operating via a worldwide network of experts and partners, ARM is building social justice and environmental protection throughout the ASM community. ARM developed the Fairmined standard for gold and associated precious metals.

What benefits do miners receive for becoming Fairmined certified?

Miners receive a guaranteed Fairtrade Minimum Price (set at 95% of the London Bullion Market Association’s price). They also receive a Fairtrade premium payment which is democratically reinvested in community projects and into improving miners’ operations. Through this reinvestment, mining workers receive benefits such as training, safety equipment, improved working conditions, greater security, and new technologies.

What is Ecological Gold, Silver and Platinum?

Ecological Gold, Silver, or Platinum is a special designation awarded to gold and associated precious metals which are produced under stringent environmental practices. These practices include extraction without the use of mercury or cyanide, forest restoration in areas of high biodiversity and ecological restoration in any ecosystem. Under the Fairmined program, an additional premium is granted for precious metals extracted using these methods.

What is a Fairmined “Authorized Operator”?

Any individual or entity involved in a Fairmined chain of custody that takes possession, transforms, or trades the product, up to the point of the Fairmined label user (“Licensee”), and that has been independently audited by a registered third-party and certified to the Fairmined standard requirements.

What is a Fairmined “Authorized Licensee”?

Any individual or entity that has been granted the use of the Fairmined label, based on independent auditing and certification by a registered third-party to the Fairmined standard requirements and who has signed a licensing agreement with ARM is a “Fairmined Licensee."

What is a First Authorized Buyer?

The payer of the price and premium for Fairmined labelled and Fairmined incorporated products, that has been independently audited by a registered third-party and certified to the Fairmined standard requirements.

SCS Training FeeFees per audit
  Daily Rate
(Day 1)
  Daily Rate
(Additional Days)
First Authorized Buyer Audit
(includes a physical audit)
$1,325   $1,200
Documental Audit*
*An additional $1,200 daily rate applies for documental audits which require physical audits. A physical audit is required if significant risks are found during the documental audit.
$1,200   $1,200


Travel costs are invoiced to the client, including a 15% administrative fee. Fees posted are valid until September 1, 2017. 


For immediate service:

Catherine Hansen, Technical Sales Executive, Jewelry & Conflict Minerals phone icon 860.706.4928 Email Catherine