A model of responsible artisanal and small-scale mining

Dates: From September 2017 (18 to 24 months)

Country of intervention: Honduras

Donors: Lundin Foundation

Allies: United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Honduran Institute of Geology and Mines (INHGEOMIN), Directorate of Environmental Assessment and Control (DECA), Municipality of Macuelizo and Parish of Macuelizo.


On september 2017, the Lundin Foundation and the Alliance for Responsible Mining signed an agreement with the purpose of encouraging and training miners of Honduran communities to adopt good practices in favor of a sustainable local development, based on the successful cases of Fairmined Certification in Latin America. The project seeks to:

• Implement sustainable community development practices that increase the family income of miners.

• Improvement of economic, social and environmental practices to comply with national requirements.

• Achieve a first exportation by artisanal miners, fulfilling the expectations of international buyers.

• Channel efforts so that the Minas y Cuevas mining company can become certified under the Fairmined Standard.

Inauguration of Minas y Cuevas’ gravimetric plant, Honduras

On the 8th of February we inaugurated the gravimetric plant for the recovery of gold and other metals of the artisanal and small-scale mining organization (ASMO) Minas y Cuevas in Macuelizo, Honduras. One of the main benefits of the plant will be the ability to obtain gold without the use of mercury, thus reducing environmental impact.

Artisanal miners from Honduras visit Colombia to exchange experience with their counterparts

From 16-20 April, six members of the mining organization “Minas y Cuevas” from Macuelizo, Honduras, traveled to Colombia to learn about the management of artisanal and small-scale mining organizations. This was possible thanks to the project “A model of responsible...

Community Stories

In search of the lode: The tenacious struggles of Darwin Sevilla

Mining has made its mark not only on the land in the municipality of Macuelizo (Honduras); it has also forged a family heritage among residents who found the source of their daily sustenance and hope for their future in artisanal and small-scale mining. Darwin Sevilla is an example of one child who learned about mining from his parents. Now, at the age of 26, he proudly and diligently continues the mining practice in the community of Sula, located in the southern part of the department of Santa Bárbara.

“The mining sector needs to improve the way it works to avoid harming the environment.”, José Marvin Regalado, Honduras

José Marvin Regalado Pacheco, 37, has always been known to be a proactive, hard-working person. Marvin, from the La Playa community, Honduras, has worked in different lines of work in his lifetime. He started working in mining at 34, which means he has worked in the sector for five and a half years. Before this, he lived in Mexico for five years: he worked with sand for three years, and two as a bricklayer. It was a great experience for him because his boss was very appreciative of his work, so when he quit, his boss told him that he could come back any time.

Responsible mining is “using the safety equipment, taking care of the environment and of ourselves …”,, José Rubén, Honduras

José Rubén is 22 years old and is in charge of the mineral processing plant in the organization Minas y Cuevas. He lives in the community Ojos de Agua, Honduras. He started working in artisanal mining when he was 14 years old, before Minas y Cuevas was as organized as it is now.

Rubén went to work with his parents or relatives in any zone of the territory,without thinking much about safety or for example: mercury. Now he thinks very differently from how he did before. As the leader of the processing plant, he has a great responsibility of adopting a more responsible style of mining. He has lived through the process of improving the Minas y Cuevas organization, which is made up of people from the 7 communities that surround the mining area.

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