Africa is renowned for its wealth of resources in precious metals and gemstones as well as other valuable minerals. Unfortunately, most of its countries rich in minerals still have archaic mining practices and lacklustre governance, leaving only a minority to prosper from the gains of these resources.
Additionally, with issues such as child labour, civil war, dated infrastructure, inequality in the workplace, reckless use of hazardous chemicals and other discrepancies, Ethical Stones marks Africa as a key continent for overall development, especially in the mining industry.
In Africa we work with various countries, including Zimbabwe, South Africa, DRC, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone. On the continent we have enforced enforcing Ethical Value chains for Gold and Diamond mining.
Ethical Gold

Most subordinates in the artisanal gold mining industry live below the poverty line and due to lack of governance and surveillance of mining practices, miners are exposed to dangerous working conditions, hazardous chemicals and piecework remuneration. Furthermore, due to the high cost of operating a legal mine (corporate structure, land lease, mining licenses, equipment etc.), most artisanal miners, after having scraped the surface (30 to 50ft), nomadically migrate across Africa in order to mine independently thus leaving the majority of the resources at a deeper level to be exploited by large foreign industrial mining companies.
In most African countries, larger industrial companies have a Corporate Social Responsibility to hire locals yet have found it difficult as the nomadic and independent mentality of artisanal miners leaves inconsistencies in the workforce as artisanal miners lack the skills to work in an industrial site, the nomadic migration of these miners makes it difficult to track the best talent and their independent/ gold rush mentality brought on by being paid by the gram (piecework) does not entice them to be an employee despite the benefits.
Ethical Stones has succeeded in implementing a cooperative business model that allows locals to prosper from their lands and resources in a legal and ethical manner yet maintaining their independence. In Guinea, we have provided artisanal mining communities with:

  • Corporate Structure : Invest in leasing land legally and obtaining the mining permits to exploit and export
  • Machinery : Provide machinery in order to increase production
  • Safety Equipment : Provide protective equipment for these communities to work in safety
  • On-site Training : ILO Working Standards Training (Health and Safety), Mining Best Practice Training, Machinery Training.
  • Schools and Training Centres : Create schools in mining areas for the children of the miners or in the unfortunate case of a child having lost their parents in a mine, the opportunity to better their education whilst keeping a source of income
  • Alternatives : On-site smelting, refining and crafting centres that allows these communities to diversify their work-force and the ability to control the supply chain up until the final product thus fairly redistributing the margins to the country of origin
  • Ethical diamonds

    Diamonds have been produced in Africa for centuries and up until a short time ago were controlled by a few large players such as the de Beers Group or Rio Tinto. The majority of production was done by large industrial companies that monopolised the market by obtaining the best concessions off local government through corruption. Additionally, this production was never processed in the country of origin leaving the majority of the margins to be made in developed off-shore cutting centres such as Antwerp. As of late, countries in Africa are slowly reclaiming their diamond concessions and taking over production, opening on-shore cutting centres to allow them to produce a final product and enforcing the governance of a certification of origin and quality to compliment the GIA: Kimberly Certificate. In countries such as Botswana, where the first African cutting centre was created, this movement has been successful as they have kept the industry private and invested in the expertise of industry professionals. In most cases, the recuperation of the diamond industry has been carried out by the government solely and the result have been disastrous leaving these countries with mismanaged mines, inconsistent production, lack of quality due to poor mining practices, appalling working conditions and an increase in smuggling and illegal diamond mining. Additionally, the Kimberly certificate, although an added value to the industry, does not describe the conditions and practices of the mines of-which the gemstone came from and is prone to corruption depending on the government issuing the certificate.
    Ethical Stones is working with countries such as Zimbabwe in order to implement its certification program allowing for the traceability of a diamond to be completed. The certificate will only be issued for stones where a mine follows our standards and protocol, and mines that are not up to standard are welcome to join our certification program. For diamonds, our certificate will provide the end buyer with information such as:

  • Origin of stone : Country and mine name
  • Mining License
  • Mine Production
  • Mine Equipment Inventory
  • Hazardous Chemical Inventory and Usage
  • Number of Employees on mine
  • Working Conditions Report
  • Mine Inspection Reports
  • Transport Inventory : Export License, Import License, Shipping and Logistic methods

    In Africa, we have worked across various regions, however, the crux of our work has been carried out in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Our work has consisted of:
    • Implementing environmentaly sound practices
    • Modernizing the mining equipment in order to improve productivity and safety
    • Providing access to Global Distribution Channels and Ethical Branding Services
    • Working in collusion with local government in order to make our process law
    • Investing in infrastructure to facilitate transport and logistics

    Our projects :