Fraud associated with gold mining, refining and trading leads to massive revenue loss to governments and mining companies alike in Africa. The Gold Mining and Fraud Prevention Study Tour to Australia, organised by the Australia-Africa Partnerships Facility (AAPF), with support from IM4DC, enabled government officials and law enforcement officers to look at Australia’s approach to fraud prevention.
The July 2013 study tour arose from discussions with participants of previous study tours and from contact between AusAID and African governments where it was acknowledged that Australia was a benchmark country for gold fraud prevention.
Participants included representatives from ministries such as Mines and Internal Affairs, finance and taxation authorities and governance and enforcement agencies involved in gold and mineral security. A total of 37 representatives from 11 countries, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan and Tanzania participated.
The aims of the Gold Mining and Fraud Prevention Study Tour were:
- To provide overviews of a) Australia’s gold mining history, and b) the quality assurance of Australia’s gold supply chain
- To explore the main ways gold fraud is carried out and current trends in gold stealing at different levels of the supply chain
- To examine Australia’s system of combating gold fraud. This included anti-fraud legislation and policies, technology and implementation mechanisms to monitor the security of the gold sector, and company-government cooperation.
Participants explored the applicability of Australian practice to their own countries and context. They also shared their experiences and lessons for practice in their home nations.
IM4DC Director Ian Satchwell opened the study tour with an overview of gold mining in Australia, including industry structure, locations and production, the economic and social dimensions of gold mining, the challenges Australia faces in sustaining the gold industry and an overview of Australian activity in helping to build the African gold industry.
IM4DC also hosted a one-day workshop for tour participants which covered the following topics:
- A community development approach to artisanal small-scale mining
- Government and industry’s role in gold mining fraud prevention
- Strengthening the policing, security and investigations aspects of gold mining and fraud prevention
- Research and capacity-building around geological knowledge.