Gemfields is a world-leading supplier of responsibly sourced coloured gemstones, specialising in emeralds and amethyst from Zambia and Rubies from Mozambique.
Gemfields approached Levin Sources to undertake a strategic assessment, baseline and supply chain analysis of artisanal and small-scale mining operations at a Gemfields’ concession in Montepuez, Mozambique with a view to starting an engagement process with ASM stakeholders and informing corporate strategy for improving community relations and asset protection through improved management of illegal ASM.
Levin Sources was selected based on the company’s experience in helping LSM handle ASM in the past, its understanding of coloured gem supply chains and market prerogatives, and its ability to delicately navigate a sensitive situation and handle information appropriately. An additional benefit was Levin Sources' multi-lens approach to problem and solution identification, bringing perspectives of political economy, human rights, conflict and security, and sustainability to bear. Furthermore, Levin Sources' approach ensured consideration of the implications of poor management ASM was given with regards to varying commercial priorities, such as security, social licence to operate, corporate and public affairs, and marketing.
The research included a scoping trip and two field trips in 2015. Three members of the Levin Sources team travelled with the client to Mozambique to conduct a qualitative assessment on and around the concession and in the satellite villages and towns where gems were trade. Levin Sources worked with the client’s existing local advisors for impact assessment and resettlement planning. Diverse stakeholders were engaged from government, business, and civil society through interviews and focus groups. This included individual and group interviews with artisanal miners and illicit traders operating on and around the concession.
From the results of the scoping study, Levin Sources was able to make informed, socially sensitive and commercially astute recommendations on the best course of action for Gemfields and other stakeholders. As a result of this work, Gemfields now has a holistic approach to managing recurring ASM risk, which has factored enhanced security-based human-rights risk assessments and training, a vastly improved relationship with community stakeholders and vulnerable groups – including the ASM themselves - and clear demonstration of the value the company brings to the local and national economy.
Levin Sources was instrumental in helping the client understand the complexity of the ASM presence on the local community, and provided a range of possible tactical and strategic interventions, some of which were subsequently acted on and incorporated in to the wider risk, security and community engagement processes.