In May 2022, in Tegucigalpa, the first National Dialogue on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining took place within the framework of the new national government. In this scenario, necessary authorities at the local and national levels participated, men and women miners, and members of the Garífuna community from the municipality of Colón.

The Presidential Representative, Doris Gutiérrez, address to the participants:

“As Presidential Representative, I support you 100 percent on this project. President Xiomara is highly aware about the necessity of supporting administrative, and legalization and legalization processes in her government plan, especially for entrepreneurs in all fields.”


The attendees gathered to exchange ideas and build proposals addressed to the current national government in favor of the legalization of small-scale mining in Honduras. They also heard success formalization stories in Peru with Lenin Valencia, former Director of Mining Formalization in that country. Zdenka Mulon, from the Samlerhuset group, also participated in this event and encouraged miners to keep working on formalization to sell their gold to international formal markets.

“Dialog spaces help us find convergence points and concrete, collaborative action plans. They help us build confidence, which is essential for the formalization process,”

says Gabriela Flores, Senior Associate of the International Institute for Environment and Development, an organization that is associated with the project. 

The proposals from this event are expected to be escalated to the national government to achieve small mining formalization in the country, which will benefit over 17,000[1] mining families that are estimated to live off this activity.

This dialog takes place as part of the Project Honduras, Land of Shining Gold, which fosters a formal, productive, and profitable artisanal and small-scale mining in the country. The Project is led by the Alliance for Responsible Mining, along with the Centro de Negocios Hondureño Alemán (German-Honduran Business Center, Minas y Cuevas Mining Organization, Samlerhuset Group, Heimerle + Meule, and the International Institute for Environment and Development – IIED, and it is funded by the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals.


Watch the event video here:

Community Mining: Economic Development Booster

“Mining is an economic development booster in my community and all the other communities in Honduras that dedicate to this activity,”: Sobeida Castañeda, Miner of the Municipality of Quimistán.

During 2020, the mining and quarry sector in Honduras legally exported 3,730 million lempiras (USD 153 million USD)[2], which represents an economic development activity for the country.

Most mineral exports from Honduras consist of silver and gold, followed by zinc and lead. In 2016, gold and silver came up 66% of mineral exports from Honduras.

According to a study in 17 communities of the country[3], in 2017 alone, there was an estimated production of 2.76 gold tons, which represents approximately 4,000 million lempiras (USD 163 million) informally commercialized, without going through Customs or reporting to the Tax Authority. If the Small-Scale Mining sector were legalized, it would report 895 million lempiras (USD 36 million) to the national Treasury. Therefore, one of the greatest challenges for the ASM sector in Honduras is strengthening mining formalization processes in the country.

It is essential to continue encouraging community mining formalization in the country to keep a contribution to the national Treasury and the access of small-scale miners to international miners. Consolidating formal supply chains and promoting mineral commerce at a fair price.


[1] National Overview of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Honduras. MIANAP Project from UNEP. 2018 – 2020

[2] Banco Central de Honduras, 2021.

[3] National Overview of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Honduras. MIANAP Project from UNEP. 2018 – 2020

De allí la importancia de continuar promoviendo la formalización de la minería comunitaria en el país para seguir contribuyendo al fisco nacional y el acceso de pequeños mineros al mercado internacional, consolidando cadenas de suministro formales y promoviendo el comercio de minerales a un precio justo.

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