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IUGS Initiative on Forensic Geology


Forensic Geological Analysis of Crimes in International Mining, Minerals and Metals (FGACIMMM)

Civilisation could not exist as we know it without the minerals upon which we rely. However, there is a global growing crime problem including, but not restricted to: (i) illegal mining beyond regulatory control, (ii) fraud, (iii) theft, (iii) adulteration of mineral concentrates or processed metals, (iv) the substitution of samples ahead of assaying, (v) the mining and trading of conflict minerals, (vi) mineral smuggling and (vii) fakery.

The scale of such criminal activity is at present poorly documented, but is suspected to take place around the world and is linked to serious and organised crime cartels, terrorist organisations and political regimes. Mining crime, directly or indirectly affects many parts of society.

The FGACIMMM Special Project has two clear aims: (1) to evaluate the current global scale of mining associated crimes, and (2) to assess geological methodologies which may aid law enforcement agencies in the detection, prevention, management and mitigation of mining crime and the identification of research priorities needed to develop rigorous protocols to aid law enforcement and the global minerals supply chain.

Illegal Mining Activity


IUGS Special Project
IUGS Special Project