PREPARING TO SUPPORT A JOURNEY TOWARDS EMPOWERMENT: Movement Building with Women Miners in Antioquia, Colombia
Since June 2020, the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) and MIT D-Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been working to develop the project “RISE: Resilient, Inclusive & Sustainable Environments – A challenge to address gender-based violence in the small-scale mining sector”
Economic reactivation in the context of Covid 19, sustainable development, and artisanal and small scale mining
The current situation around the world with Covid 19 has made us look into our own abilities to find alternatives as individuals, State institutions, companies, and organized civil society in order to get out of the crisis and turn unfavorable phenomena on economy, sustainable development, and social dynamics as a whole into opportunities. Such is the case of artisanal and small scale mining.
Within the potential of ASMs to make a contribution in the global climatic agenda, reforestation processes are of the utmost importance.
A group of men and women miners in Paipa reforest an area of approximately 2500 square meters, with the company of Alliance for Responsible Mining and Gensa, participating in the project “Somos Tesoro” (We are a Treasure).
The paper sheds light on the often inhumane working conditions within the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)sector, outlines the human rights related risks and therewith involved responsibilities of businesses, and addresses the challenges for companies resulting from ASM.
Saving is our vehicle for investment. We can call it our financial instrument for purchasing equipment and machinery. It is the only financial instrument we have access to since in practice, it has been impossible to obtain credit from financial entities. It would be important to obtain it because we could leverage our growth and it would become a way to optimize our cash flow, but under the current conditions of stigmatization of mining and, more specifically, small-scale gold, it is impossible to obtain it.
For more than a decade the jewellery industry has been promoting the use of recycled gold when referencing a responsible chains of custody (CoC) and a statement of provenance or traceability. So is this the best practice? If I use exclusively recycled gold for my jewels, am I responsible ? Let’s try to answer these questions.
The most common reasons that banks deny services to the gold mining sector, are related to the difficulty of carrying out due diligence processes that allow them to perform an accurate risk assessment. Are these reasons really objective when the inability to do proper risk management by the compliance area rests with the evaluated actor?
The artisanal and small-scale mining sector seems invisible to the financial inclusion policies implemented in Colombia. Due to this, miners face many difficulties trying to connect with formal markets and are left without the financial services needed to channel the earnings.
Our country is rich in minerals and has a great goldsmith tradition, which comes from beginnings of ancient Peru. It was precisely the pre-Inca cultures that defined Peru as one of the five metallurgical cradles of the world.
With the promotion of this alternative method and the discontinuation of mercury, in addition to the environmental and health advantages for the population, other illegal practices, as well as the presence of mercury black market traders, are minimized.
As a not for profit, charitable organization The Jewelry Industry Summit strives to bring the jewelry industry together to encourage and facilitate meaningful, solution-driven activities that continue to advance sustainability and responsible sourcing. The summits hosted by our organization are interactive opportunities to come together to develop strategies for more responsible jewelry sourcing.
In June 2012 an application was filed to the Colombian Ministry of Culture for the traditional barequeo , a panning technique used to obtain gold with manual tools on the riverbed and shores of the Cauca river and its tributaries, to be included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the nation (ICH).
Water is the most vital resource for life. Which is why it is important to understand the impact of artisanal and small-scale placer mining (ASM) on water bodies and watercourses and implement the correct water use and management practices.
Public positioning of the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) on mercury.
How do we jointly define priorities to improve the conditions of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)?
In an event for dialogue and regional participation that we organized at the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) to get together with different stakeholders with whom we had been working with in Colombia (Cauca and Nariño regions), we built an agenda aimed at giving more visibility to artisanal and small-scale mining. This agenda was created based on the accomplishments, challenges and learnings that we identified throughout a year through the relationship with multiple stakeholders.
The launch of “Sustainable Jewellery. Principles and Processes for Creating an Ethical Brand” shows us the revolution that is taking place within the jewellery sector today. An opening to the secrecy that characterizes it, if we compare it to more innovative and communicative industries like fashion, in which we find an endless number of publications addressing its harmful impact on the environment, and the question of developing sustainable practices.
The general assistant of Gualconda mine and president of the Asociación Agro Minera de los Andes “Fortaleza”, Rolberto Alvarez, has been on a mission to eliminate mercury from the processes used by the 13 member association to extract gold. In December of 2017 the Colombian association accomplished this goal.
In the last decade, we have seen a spectacular increase in sustainability initiatives and Voluntary Sustainability Standards. However, in many agricultural supply chains we still face a tremendous challenge to bring small producers up to the sustainability standards required by market stakeholders and consumers.
Francesco Belloni, 48 years old, handled the jewelry founded by his father in 1955. Married, two lovely daughters, he works hard to achieve his goals, he works with passion and sense of responsability. The claim he chose for his ethical brands is “Dignity is the most precious asset”.