November 26th, 2015

Spirits where high when the Alliance for Responsible Mining, in collaboration with Cumbre del Sajama, hosted its Regional Workshop for the Latin American Network for Responsible Mining last week that was attended by more than 60 participants. Miners from Bolivia, Colombia, Peru showed great commitment and Ecuador participated to share their experiences with Fairmined Certification and participate in this year’s training sessions on labor conditions, gender issues, exportation and internal control systems.

One of the central points that the miners highlighted, and an important recognition of the sustainability of the Fairmined Certification System, was the fact that the miners had a genuine business case for Fairmined Certification thanks to the minimum price, the Fairmined Premium and the general improvements that lead the miners to formalization and certification. Two of the already certified organizations, the Peruvian company SOTRAMI and the Colombian Cooperative of Iquira, shared the advances they have made in their operations and communities thanks to the Fairmined Premium they have received until now.

The workshop included a visit to the Cooperative 15 de Agosto, which left a huge impression on the participants. Besides the cooperative’s astonishing view of the sacred Illimani Mountain the participants where excited to see examples of how 15 de Agosto has reduced their use of mercury and how they have a true cooperative spirit that helps them to stand together to make real changes in their operations and conditions. This spirit of togetherness and the Bolivian cooperative structure, made an especially strong impression on the Colombian miners who expressed how this could strengthen themselves and others in their formalizations processes and interactions with the government.

As in last year’s workshop, ARM was happy to experience great interest from the print and televised media that participated in the opening of the workshop to listen to the experiences of the miners and know more about the work of ARM and Cumbre del Sajama.

Representatives from the Bolivian public sector also participated showing important interest in exploring how to strengthen responsible artisanal and small-scale mining in the country together with ARM and Cumbre del Sajama.

ARM would like to extend a big thank you to all the participants, especially Cumbre del Sajama, Teresa Blanco from the auditing entity IMOSwissAG and the 15 de Agosto Cooperative who all participated in making the workshop a success. This year’s workshop was possible thanks to the project “Strengthening incentives for formalization and improved environmental and social performance in artisanal and small-scale mining” that is primarily financed by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Multilateral Investment Fund (IDB-MIF).

Download official press release here.

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