2023 State of the ASM Sector report Explore Delve's new report on ASM's contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is DELVE an acronym?

No. DELVE was chosen as the database name for its two meanings of (a) to investigate a subject and (b) to dig.

2. What is the definition of ASM that is applied by the Delve platform?

Delve follows use the definition of ASM presented in the OECD Mineral Resource Guidebook (Edition 3, pg. 65):

Formal or informal mining operations with predominantly simplified forms of exploration, extraction, processing, and transportation. ASM is normally low capital intensive and uses high labour intensive technology. ASM can include men and women working on an individual basis as well as those working in family groups, in partnership, or as members of cooperatives or other types of legal associations and enterprises involving hundreds or even thousands of miners. For example, it is common for work groups of 4-10 individuals, sometimes in family units, to share tasks at one single point of mineral extraction (e.g. excavating one tunnel). At the organisational level, groups of 30-300 miners are common, extracting jointly one mineral deposit (e.g. working in different tunnels), and sometimes sharing processing facilities.1

1 OECD (2016): OECD Due diligence guidance for responsible supply chains of minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. 3. edition. Paris (FR): OECD. ISBN: 978-92-64-25247-9.

3. Do I have to pay to access data on Delve?


All data on the Delve platform that is shared by contributors or has been publicly catalogued is open to public access for free. The annual “State of the ASM Sector” report is also be free. DELVE will follow standard “open data” principles as defined by the Open Definition:

Open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone - subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share alike.

Access to certain data sources in which data is cited from are protected by the respective publisher’s access rights (e.g. an academic journal article).

4. How do I know if data on the Delve platform is reliable?

The Delve team has developed data quality standards in collaboration with leading academics and sector professionals. These standards act as a minimum filter for quality assurance of data available on the platform. Users that contribute data to the platform via the data contribution mechanism certify that their data contribution meets the data quality standards for the platform. As the initiative advances, we will be asking contributors to commit to a standard data collection protocol for any future data collection as a contributor does and where the results are then made available on the database. To learn more about the data quality standards visit the Data Quality Standards page.

5. Who manages the Delve database?

The Delve Project Team manages the database with oversight and strategic direction provided by a multi-sector Steering Committee. Visit the Governance page on platform for more information.

6. Why should I contribute my data to the Delve platform?

We believe that sharing data advances the common good of formalizing the ASM sector globally. Improved data informs policy making, guides design of interventions, provides accurate information to the media and shines a light on the scale and importance of the ASM sector. The database and the ‘Annual State of the ASM Sector’ report will showcase the hard work being undertaken by different groups and individuals. Participants who contribute data will benefit from increased visibility and recognition of their role in, and contribution to, the sector. To learn more about contributing data to the platform visit the Data Contribution page.

7. Who “owns” the data contributed to the database by users?

Contributors retain ownership of their datasets but consent to it being used as part of an open data initiative. The data contributed to the database will be fully attributed and ownership rights to the data set will be retained by the data source individual/institution. The aggregate data generated by the database will be considered open and non- proprietary for public use and re-distribution. The Delve platform follows the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

8. Are there risks in making ASM data available?

Care will continue to be taken to ensure that data is aggregated and, where appropriate, anonymized to avoid putting any stakeholders at risk. Commercial confidentiality is respected through the review of contributed data prior to publishing on the platform. Issues such as the risk of stimulating rushes, distorting markets, creating legal pressures, etc., are carefully considered and managed by the Delve operating team and Steering Committee.

9. How are future database features prioritized for development?

The database will be defined and built in collaboration with the interested and relevant stakeholders in the sector. We are building a core group of professionals from multiple sectors (academic, industry, NGO, government, INGO, independent consultant, etc.) that will support future working groups to define the key metrics, data collection standards, address key data gaps and identify key features for future development of the Delve platform.

10. What if the data I am looking for does not exist in Delve?

An institution may approach the Delve initiative to gather or collate specific data that is not available within the database. The Delve team will work with the institution and Delve’s network of ASM professionals to develop a data collection plan that will obtain the requested data. A fee will be applied by Delve for this service. The fees gathered through this process will be used to support the operating costs of the initiative.

11. Will the database be available in multiple languages?

Yes, the long-term vision for the database is to make it available in multiple languages. The initial Version 1.0 of the platform is available in English. French and Spanish are priority languages for the platform in subsequent versions. Additional languages will be considered based on platform usership and demand in future iterations.

12. What open standards does the Delve platform support?

Delve supports UTF–8 for character encoding, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 when operationally possible, Uniform Resource Identifiers when linking to externally hosted resources, PDF for document formatting in the Resource Library & all Delve publications, and JPEF, PNG, CSV for multimedia exports of data visualizations.