“It is a very good opportunity for artisanal mining communities to show organizations that we have the skills and that we can make their commitments to be ours as well,” Cristian Morales, president of the Board of Directors of the Coodmilla LTDA small-scale mining organization.


The third National Advisory Committee of the CAPAZ (Supply Chains for Peace) Program: “Supply chain models for minerals free from conflict and worst practices in Colombia” was held on October 1 in Bogota, Colombia, to talk about the program and discuss the next steps for encouraging the development of artisanal and small-scale mining in the country.

At the CAPAZ Committee, the attendees could share their ideas and offer recommendations to reach the program’s objectives, which seeks to improve the conditions of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) to improve its access to legal and formal markets

The Committee is an advisory body that has a representative from the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM) as well as others from various national and local groups of stakeholders on the program. It meets twice a year, keeping all parties aligned.

The accomplishments achieved so far and future challenges were presented during the event. Some results that deserve a special mention are: the development of sustenance and small-scale mining capabilities; geographical, legal, technical and commercial feasibility analyses in regions such as Suárez, La Llanada, La sierra, Bolívar and Buenos Aires; the formation of multi-stakeholder committees and the generation of local and regional plans of action. In regard to the challenges, the importance of the financial (banking) inclusion of artisanal and small-scale miners was emphasized, as well as their access to legal markets, the elimination of mercury, and the generation of equality conditions on the market. At the end of the event, attendees were able to discuss their conclusions, commitments and challenges.

The committee enjoyed the presence of the Ministry of Mines Banking Program and Formalization Directorate; the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism. National Contact Point of the Guidelines of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development; the secretariat of the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM); United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO); the National Mining Agency (ANM); Cooperativa Minera Coodmilla LTDA; ASOMUSELUPAZ; SECO; European Union; USAID; Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Señora del Rosario; Better Gold Initiative program; BSD Consulting; Valcambi; Universidad del Externado, Secretary of Economic Development and Competitiveness; governance of Cauca; Anexpo; Observatorio Colombiano de Minería (OCMI) and Solidaridad.

Yajaira Mina was thankful for her participation in the event: “I learned many things. I leave here with many experiences for my association and for my people. The CAPAZ program has significantly helped our organization to improve in many areas: identification, gold commercialization and safety, among others.” She also added that the association needs to keep fighting in the future toward its objectives and for empowering its women. Yajaira Mina

Member, Asociación de Mujeres Seleccionadoras y Luchadoras por la Paz (Association of Women Pickers and Fighters for Peace, ASOMUSELUPAZ) of the Suárez municipality

Cristián Morales, president of the Board of Directors of Coodmilla and one of the event’s attendees, said that “The Committee was excellent. It is a very good opportunity for us, the mining communities, to show organizations that we have the know-how, as well as our commitment to the environment. Furthermore, by sharing ideas, we can solve problems that have been overwhelming us in our day to day.” Morales said that one of the greatest challenges for mining communities are “entering the banking system, explosives and the management of mines.” He also remarked that “the best way in which the CAPAZ program has helped our community is by having reached our municipality; it was the best thing that could have happened to us. Thanks to the program we can envisage a promising future.” Cristian Morales

President of the Board of Directors, Coodmilla LTDA

Inclusion – the future of artisanal and small-scale mining:

The CAPAZ program was born out of the need to generate a mechanism that allowed for the management of risks related to the supply of minerals from artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). It also aims to be an opportunity for inclusion in this sector into the legal gold supply chains, complying with the minimum requirements of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance, while they build roadmaps for the improvement of mining practices. ARM to achieve the goals of the program and its mission has had the collaboration of EPRM, the Ford Foundation, the FOS (Swedish-Norwegian Fund for Cooperation with the Colombian Civil Society), Fundación Ayuda, Better Gold Initiative (BGI), and the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives

The main results of the program have been: the first one is the development of a tool to facilitate entry into the market (CRAFT), applied globally, and a verification system for gold ASM, especially in conflict and high-risk regions; and the second one is the pilot program in three mining areas involving this approach related to entry into the market by means of supply chain models for conflict-free minerals in Colombia.

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