Expansion of CRAFT & Fairmined in Honduras

Honduras: land of shining gold. Expansion of CRAFT & Fairmined

Sustainable Mines Program

2021 Fair Gold Initiative in Honduras

General information

Time frame: January 2021 – December 2023


Honduras – Macuelizo municipality in Santa Bárbara department and another TBD (Santa Bárbara, Colón, El Paraíso or Choluteca departments)

Mineral: Gold

European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM)

· Alliance for Responsible Mining
· Centro de Negocios Hondureño Alemán
· Minas y Cuevas
· Samlerhuset
· Heimerle + Meule
· International Institute for Environment and Development    

Project Summary

Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) remains invisible in Honduras as there is a lack of greater recognition of its current contributions and needs. The creation of the Unit for ASM at INHGEOMIN (Honduran Institute of Geology and Mines) has significantly boosted accompaniment and advocacy for the ASM sector. However, the current technical and operational capacity is not yet sufficient to meet the needs of the entire ASM population. Also, the ASM sector is poorly recognized in the market leading to a lack of formal market access.

Minas y Cuevas S.A. is a Honduran community mining cooperative that pioneers in efforts to implement more responsible mining practices. The association is also a member of the Sustainable Mines Program developed by the Alliance for Responsible Mining, which proposes a progressive path for ASM from mitigating worst risks to implementing responsible mining practices. The project seeks to show that ASM can become a legitimate, responsible and profitable sector that promotes inclusive and sustainable development in rural areas, improving the quality of life of men and women miners and their communities.

As of 2019, Minas y Cuevas has been successful in meeting the requirements of the CRAFT Code, an international standard that promotes the mitigation of ASM-related risks and access to formal mining markets. Minas y Cuevas remains committed to improving its mining practices, for which will receive project support to achieve the Fairmined certification, an international ASM standard that certifies that mining organizations comply with the highest legal, labor, technical, environmental and social requirements. The project also seeks to identify more small-scale mining organizations in Honduras that are interested in joining this process and choose one of them to support it on the path towards responsible mining.


Minas y Cuevas S.A. is a legal organization that brings together seven associations, each of them representing a community, all of which are near the mining site operated by Geomaque some time ago. The initiative of Minas y Cuevas seeks to conduct responsible mining operations, providing decent jobs for 307 members from the seven associations as they see it as an opportunity for income generation in the region. Another ASM organization will be also selected to receive support during the project.

Envisioned Impact

The project is aimed at improving working conditions and strengthen the livelihoods of miners through responsible gold production.

Moreover, it will stimulate trade of responsible ASM minerals from CAHRA’s (Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas), mostly from Honduras. One way to do this is to get artisanal and small-scale miners, supply chain actors and Honduran government officials prepared for the implementation of the European Union’s Conflict Materials Regulation that came into force in early 2021.  

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