Since November 2017, the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), along with the funding from the Ensemble Foundation, the Colorado School of Mines and the Ford Foundation, have been developing a global project to promote good mining practices in the Puno region. One of the components of the project is to support a group of women miners- referred to as bateadoras – of The Central de Cooperativas Mineero Metalúrgicas de Puno (CECOMIP) in Peru with the purpose of promoting an inclusive and clean model of artisanal and small-scale mining (MAPE).

These miners work for days in rotating shifts (each woman works roughly 12 days per month), which makes them interested in diversifying and increasing their income. In their free time, some women are responsible for household chores and others are involved in informal business activities.

Divinas en Brillo de Oro

An accompaniment process was carried out since July 2018 in organizational matters towards the creation and self-management of an association called Divinas en Brillo de Oro, prior to consolidating the construction of a productive and business model in 2019. Its official launch was comprised of 21 members in November 2018 in Juliaca, Peru, where the board of directors and the bylaws were established.

The objective of this association is to provide woman more participation and representation in their community and in their Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Organization (ASMO); so that they can create a solid business plan to ensure the sustainability of the goldsmith business, and to seek economic alternatives, in order to improve their quality of life.

The accompaniment with the members of the Divinas en Brillo de Oro Association will be until December 2019. We expect to have a very well consolidated, organized and experienced group in the development and marketing of jewelry by December 2019. In addition and concurrently, other resources are being identified and sought for by members who are not interested in jewelry or who do not have the proper skills.

Responsible jewerly and next steps 

The Peruvian jewelry company Sissaï, also a licensed Fairmined and located in Lima, has collaborated in this project by training CECOMIP members in goldsmithing with the purpose of encouraging them to design and manufacture jewelry. The company is also committed to providing the material for the jewelry and buying a part of the association’s production when aligned with its quality standards.

Thanks to the support and coordination with the Board of Directors of CECOMIP, and with the support of ARM, the members obtained permission to set up their workshop at the CECOMIP site. On May 5 was the official launch of the jewerly workshop, where the members of the Divinas en Brillo de Oro Association can make their jewelry in a traditional way. In addition, the necessary tools for their production were purchased and moved to the workshop. Now the construction of the business plan will be done, and the work plan will be socialized and validated with the whole association, in order to improve the practices and strengthen the group in other aspects such as organizational, health and safety, market study and negotiation, among others.

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