Clean Gold Community Solutions Ltd. (Clean Gold) is powered by SEF Canada Ltd. (SEF), an experienced international company specializing in Economic Development programs in communities. Our unique model incorporates community programs while developing small gold processing plants in artisanal mining communities. Clean Gold has strong government relationships, partnerships in academia (UBC) and the ability to tailor its operations to the local area / region where artisanal and small scale mining (ASM) occurs alongside large-scale mining (LSM) companies. In order to create strategies that are successful for ASM, LSM, and communities, mining companies must incorporate programs that are empowering, sustainable and have local significance. Engagement is needed at each stage, from exploration to mine closure. Identifying and addressing ASM issues early on and managing them will increase the likelihood of success of commercial mining operations. 

Using our knowledge, history, research, and community reputation, Clean Gold can create successful processing plants while limiting challenges. The pioneering model includes a joint-venture partnership with local miners. It creates healthier and wealthier communities, ensuring long term sustainability for the plant and community. This mitigates much of the risk for LSM when operating in communities with ASM. The result is minimal capital investment with more immediate returns for investors, greater financially security for miners and economically strong communities. 

Business / Opportunity

Technologies and the commercialization process generate profits via improved mineral recovery which helps to create a win-win situation. By providing commercialization and business strategies, the economic return is sustainable and creates a situation where environmental improvements also provide economic benefits to the miners. By investing in a Clean Gold project, LSM can realize an ROI never seen before in community projects. 

The Situation

LSM companies increasingly encounter ASM workers during their exploration and production activities, a relationship that is often fraught with conflict, as both are competing for the same resources 

and perceive each other as a threat. Tension can impact safety, cause work stoppages and even deaths. Real financial loss for the LSM occurs when projects are delayed or closed. 

ASM creates challenges that effect the LSM and their people, community members and communities nearby. Poor business practices such as low occupational safety and health care levels, insufficient consideration of environmental issues,ii and inefficient exploitation and processing of minerals all undermine human health, social stability, economic development and sustainability goals. Typical solutions include the forced displacement of miners, conflict or economic incentives, which are far from sustainable. 

Our Solution

The ASM-LSM relationship can undergo a positive evolution with Clean Gold. To respond to demands placed on the business and pressures from civil society, LSM must engage responsibly with ASM by promoting sound ASM practices, which Clean Gold can facilitate. 

Clean Gold is a community-driven solution providing new technology for gold extraction that is profitable and environmentally friendly, teaching a business model that will allow ASM to develop entrepreneurial skills as well as diversify their economy, and providing community wellbeing. The answer lies in fostering ownership among artisanal miners, which provides them greater returns. Artisanal miners must be engaged in a co-existence land plan to protect the LSM operation against further invasions through formal agreements and community arrangements. 

Using our global experience in Local Economic Development and Corporate Social Responsibility powered by our team of world-renowned mining experts, we can realize solutions. Our existing government relationships and partnerships in academia will creating positive impacts on regions that facilitate ASM. Clean Gold’s actions provide alternative livelihoods and help communities during the transition away from mining. To reduce or prevent ASM growth, it is necessary to support the wider community. 

SEF has been successful in engaging multiple stakeholders to address ASM mining issues, including providing communities with the skills to create business development and economic diversification. Our propriety Entrepreneurial Development Program (ED) together with investments in communities generates 

real and tangible social benefits. SEF’s success record, combined with the genuine desire of companies to implement effective and lasting initiatives, can mutually benefit LSM, ASM and all stakeholders. 

The Team

The Core Technical Team is a collection of experts on artisanal mining and processing. Dr. Marcello Veiga, an Associate Professor at UBC, leads the internal technical team and is world-renowned for his expertise in small scale gold processing. He is Chief Technical Advisor of the EF/UNDP/UNIDO Global Mercury Project for UNIDO. Javier Nava, General Manager, has a Masters in Mining Engineering and direct field and leadership experience in both mining and community engagement. Adriana Goncalves, a Senior Chemical Engineer with a Masters in Mining Engineering, has extensive industrial project experience in delivering outstanding quality management, control and process improvement. A team of 4 UBC researchers with various expertise will provide further expertise on the ground. Danilo Castilo is the president of Aproplasmin,iii representing 80 small scale plants and is also the owner of his own plant. He plays an important role in processing expertise with relationships in Latin America and brings critical government and community alliances. Brandon Nichols holds a Masters in Mining Engineer and is a project manager and scientist with experience creating multidisciplinary solutions to complex problems. 

SEF is the business managing team. The SEF team has been intimately involved in the development, launch and implementation of engagement initiatives world-wide. Built on relationships and people, SEF works with communities to engage them in entrepreneurial activities showing a better than 80% sustainability rate even after five years of business. Suzette McFaul is the CEO and founder of both SEF and Clean Gold. She has successfully built companies and led passionate, energetic teams that achieve goals and exceed expectations of customers, stakeholders and program participants working in over 20 countries. Spencer Durant, the community project lead, with a Masters in Human Geography, rounds out the community work at SEF. Spencer has direct global expertise in community relations. 

Board of Advisors i ASM refers to Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining operations, LSM refers to large, mid-tier and junior-level companies. ii Including the use of mercury in processing iii The Association of Plants of Benefit, Smelting and Refining of El Oro in Ecuador 

The Board of Advisors brings unique knowledge, skills, and expertise with each person investing in the project. Core are: Dr. Peter Bradshaw has served the mining industry with distinction for more than 40 years as a minefinder, company builder, and advocate of collaborative research and science. Jeff Durno, a lawyer, has represented mining clients in the public and private markets, focussing on strategic relationships, deal structure, fund development and due diligence matters. Lana Eagle, an Aboriginal relations strategist, is well-known in the mineral exploration, development and mining sector for her knowledge regarding indigenous engagement, economic development strategies and helping companies earn a social license to operate. 

The Future

Clean Gold is beginning in Latin America, specifically Ecuador, as this is where our strongest relationships currently exist. Ecuadorian miners have invited SEF to help them realize their dreams of a better future. The ASM gold miners are able to extract gold deposits that are out of reach to LSM, however, they do not have the capacity to do it on their own. We will partner with the miners and their communities to develop programs for long-term economic sustainability. This will allow us to gain: 1) a competitive edge, community trust and well-rounded integration; and 2) sustained cooperation and support from miners, their communities and the government 

An integrated strategy is the only way to make inroads and gain community acceptance. Clean Gold can demonstrate a win-win scenario for all parties involved. The host country government supports these endeavors by assisting in creating operations that are legal, environmentally friendly, community accepted and, most of all, producing a tax base. 

While there have been many ideas for collaboration between LSM and ASM, never has there been a program that covers aspects of running a successful company, using the best technology for processing, and community support. As ASM is still growing worldwide, the likelihood that it will conflict with LSM is also increasing. Investing in this program allows LSM to realize direct monetary rewards and benefit from better working environments. Having both parties contribute in parallel to the economy and livelihoods of the community creates infrastructure and social programs that are not reliant on just LSM.