Author(s): Marcena Hunter, Dr. Yolande Kyngdon-McKay, and Kate MacLeod
Client(s): The GIFF Project (Levin Sources and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime), with funding from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
Operating as The GIFF Project, Levin Sources and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime produced two case studies identifying financial flows - both licit and illicit - in Mongolian and Filipino artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sectors.
Financial flows, in particular illicit financial flows (IFFs), play an integral role in perpetuating informality (as well as illegality) in the ASGM sector. IFFs are defined as “money illegally earned, transferred or used” and can flow into and out of ASM operations. The informality of much of the sector is often appealing to illicit financiers, as it helps to keep illicit activities and related profits, such as gold smuggling, tax evasion and money laundering, hidden from governments. Thus, wide-scale formalisation of ASM is arguably not something such financiers would want to see occur, nor would they be likely to advocate it in the mines they help to finance.
Recognising the links between ASGM and mercury use, UNIDO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have become advocates for knowledge generation and application linked to the topic. Levin Sources undertook a rapid assessment of gold and financial flows linked to ASGM in Mongolia and the Philippines in collaboration with the Global Initiative, with financing from UNIDO in the framework implemented jointly with UNEP.
This report, focusing on Mongolia, provides a nuanced first-look at how stakeholders can better understand and respond to the role gold supply chains and financial flows play in formalisation efforts.