The Impact Facility for Sustainable Mining Communities (The Facility) is an investment platform designed and managed by The Dragonfly Initiative. It brings together technical specialists, project implementers, funders and downstream commodity buyers to develop projects that demonstrate a financially sustainable mechanism to invest in the socio-economic development of mining communities around the world. Seed capital has already been committed by Comic Relief and Fairtrade for trial projects and to devise the funding scheme.
Small-scale mining supplies approximately 20% of global gold production, offering a valuable source of income for over 25 million people in some of the poorest countries on the planet. However, extortionate loans, sub-optimal market prices, alongside poor technical and financial education lock these largely informal groups into debt and subsistence wages. With few other livelihood options that offer same-day pay, men, women and even children descend into hot, dark and dangerous pits, risking their lives in the hope that one day they will extract enough gold to elevate their families out of poverty.
Today Fairtrade, Comic Relief and the Dutch development bank FMO, along with many more investors and donors are partnering with The Facility to connect mines with finance on fair terms, equitable gold markets, and technical assistance. Pilots for the scheme have already begun in collaboration with Fairtrade Africa, Solidaridad, Philips and Fairphone at nine mine sites around the Lake Victoria region of East Africa, with plans to expand the scope to additional mines in 2018. By 2020 The Facility aims to have leveraged over $4 million of investment to support similar projects across the Global South.
Read more coverage about the scheme in The Guardian here.
For information on The Facility and how to get involved contact Joshua Read, jread@TDIStrategiestrategies.com