“Our goal is to develop artisanal mining that is environmentally friendly and socially responsible, along with the creation of sustainable jobs and income for the local community.”

Duush Mandal is a non-governmental organization (NGO) formed in 2008 with the purpose of organizing artisanal gold miners who worked illegally and individually in the Mandal district of Mongolia.

Thus, different groups of independent miners joined to form part of this mining organization that today has 148 workers.

Duush Mandal has become an NGO that works to protect and represent the interests of its miners before the local government and members of civil society. In addition, it works towards to improve the working conditions, quality of life, and empowerment of the miners.

The mining site is 25 kilometers from the center of the Mandal district, in a steppe forest surrounded by mountains. It is a vein mining; the gold is processed externally using methods such as grinding and gravimetric tables are used to process the ore.

The Central Bank of Mongolia is an intermediate between the mining organization and the international Fairmined market.

“The money we receive from the gold that you buy helps us improve the quality of life of many small miners in Mongolia.”.


The district of Mandal has approximately 25,000 inhabitants, many of whom work with agriculture. Others work in sectors such as the alcohol industry, the steel industry and in brick and wood factories. The main religion here is Buddhism.

Duush Mandal’s mining activity provides a benefit for the miners’ families, approximately 500 people, including children and seniors.

In addition, in cooperation with the local administration, the mining organization provides the local community and people dedicated to grazing during severe winter seasons (also known as “dzud”) with adequate food and clothing, along with other groups in vulnerable situations.


The Sustainable Artisanal Mining (SAM) project, allies of the Alliance for Responsible Mining, accompanied Duush Mandal during their journey towards certification with training in artisanal and small-scale mining in Mongolia.

“Maintaining environmentally responsible mining boosts our sustainability and improves our members’ working conditions while also increasing their household income.”

One of the greatest accomplishments during this process was the significant improvement of safety at the mining site. In addition, they managed to increase the communication and support from the local administration.

With the Fairmined premium they will receive for their certified metal sales, Duush Mandal hopes to continue supporting the community through education and training for groups in vulnerable conditions. One of the projects they dream of carrying out with the support of local authorities, is to reform the local hospital to create a special unit for the aid of artisanal miners.

SAM project ended in 2019. From now on, the Artisanal and Small-Scale National Federation of Mongolia will be in charge to accompany the mining organization during its certification.


Number of workers: 127 men and 21 women from 9 partenships

Type of Mining: vein mining

Location: Mandal, Selenge province, Mongolia

Fairmined Certification: December 2019


“Maintaining environmentally responsible mining boosts our sustainability and improves our members’ working conditions while also increasing their household income.”