Effectiveness of Certification for Responsible Mining

Start Date: Jan 2016 - Ongoing

Certification schemes are one key means for civil society actors to hold companies to account and for companies to ensure that they are operating responsibly. But how effective are they at improving practices and delivering better environmental and social outcomes? This research project will investigate the potential role certification can play to improve standards for responsible mining. The project will review the objectives, focus, provisions, audit procedures, operation, and on-the-ground outcomes of proposed and existing mining certification schemes to develop practical resources and recommendations for improved effectiveness and application of certification schemes in mining.

Research Outcomes



Project Aims

  • Identify the full range of planned and operational certification schemes applicable to the mineral industry and their supply chains and compare the objectives, focus, provisions, process for standards development and operation of such schemes;

    • Analyse the effectiveness of different design characteristics of certification schemes, and the collective effectiveness of certification in the mineral industry as a whole;

    • Undertake in-depth analysis and fieldwork for selected certification schemes applicable to the precious metals and gemstones sector, to consider the relationship between design characteristics and scheme outcomes; and

    • Produce guidance material that captures the findings from all of the above, to support mineral operations, auditors, standards organisations, civil society groups, investors, and resource communities.

Funding Body / Partners

  • The Tiffany & Co. Foundation’s support of this research is made possible through a grant to The University of Queensland in America, Inc. Foundation.

Associated CSRM Staff / Students