The closure of the Raíces Doradas Project gathered over 50 attendants around a dialog on the challenges and opportunities of the artisanal mining gold supply chains in Colombia. Furthermore, to know firsthand about a tool with legal, Human Rights, and other criteria to implement due diligence and traceability in this craft.
March 24, 2022, was the date for this encounter at Hotel Capital in Bogotá, Colombia. The agenda referred to issues such as the pertinence of these projects in Colombia, by EPRM; socialization of Project results by ARM, Atabaque, and Anexpo; and it closed with a talk about the ASM.
The space was appropriate for exchanging information, analyses, experiences, and reflection on the commercialization of gold from artisanal mining, the challenges to guaranteeing due diligence processes in the supply chain, in addition to the implemented and necessary actions to overcome the challenges of formalization and gap mitigation in artisanal mining in Colombia.
For Major John Mosquera, of the Brigade Against Illicit Exploitation of Mining Sources, this encounter pointed out that “The communities of Barequeras in Chocó really need more help from the Colombian State to formalize their mining and their work”.
Copyright: Atabaque Foundation
Representatives of different public and private social, academic, environmental, and social organizations participated during the talk. There were local authorities and institutions that defend Human Rights, gender, environmental and territory governance, and all those actors of gold supply chains in Colombian territory, who have a special interest in the progressive, sustainable, and responsible development of Artisanal and Small-scale Mining – ASM.
This space evinced some existing challenges approached. Miners need to understand traceability; artisanal mining needs to be acknowledged and characterized by public entities to develop inclusive policies that recognize the territories’ cultural, social, and economic context; a larger presence and offer of financial services that enable miners to have access to banks as part of their trade formalization.
DUE DILIGENCE TOOL
There was also a detailed presentation of the Harmonized Due Diligence Tool. This is free and available at the service of the organizations interested in applying it. It enables tracing an improvement route for miners’ social and technical practices and thus dignify their labor, while contributing to the empowering of ASM women as active leaders who promote equality in territory governance and the consolidation of peace.
Michaella Passamani, from the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals – EPRM, highlighted the utility of this tool for the ASM sector.
On the other hand, Carlos Beltrán, from Colombian Mining Monitoring –COMIMO, claimed that the experience of Raíces Doradas is not about a pilot project or an isolated success case, but: “It is an experience to replicate in several communities dedicated to mining.”
Copyright: Atabaque Foundation
THE RAÍCES DORADAS PROJECT
Raíces Doradas is an initiative funded by the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals – EPRM, led by Comercializadora C.I. Anexpo, (C.I. Anexpo Trading Company), and implemented in alliance with Fundación Atabaque and Alliance for Responsible Mining – ARM. It aims to improve the access of artisanal miners into international markets and increase the volume of gold exported through verified supply chains using a tool, created within the project, that harmonizes and integrates the requirements from the Swiss Better Gold Association – SBGA, the CRAFT Code, and the Anexpo Commercialization Model.
The main achievements of the project involve the identification, mapping, and articulation of territory actors, enabling a joint work for the territory of Chocó; the creation of the Due Diligence Committee, which advised and supported the construction and guidance of the Harmonized Due Diligence Tool; a work alongside 149 artisanal miners to close gaps; the construction and implementation with a 100% compliance of improvements plans on formality and mining regulation, occupational health and safety, Human Rights, environment, among others; 31 participants certified in the “ASM Due Diligence, Environmental Governance, Gender Equity, and Peacebuilding Course;” 33 kilos of gold from Chocó miners exported to the Swiss market, in compliance with the Harmonized Due Diligence Tool; external auditing to verify compliance with ODCE Due Diligence parameters in the mining sector, first voluntary exercise in the country for the gold chain.