AN ENCOUNTER TO STRENGTHEN RESPONSIBLE MINING

AN ENCOUNTER TO STRENGTHEN RESPONSIBLE MINING

Certified by the Fairmined Standard since 2014, the Iquira mining organization, located in Colombia, has converted into a reference for good mining practices and responsible gold extraction.

In a meeting held in the municipality of Iquira on July 22 of 2019, they shared their transformations and experiences with local and mining entities from other Colombian municipalities of Antioquia (Tarazá, Caucasia, Remedios, Segovia and San Roque) and Cauca (Suárez). They have demonstrated that with dedication and commitment it is possible to develop responsible small-scale mining, generating positive impacts on the community and the environment.

This exchange of experiences was carried out as part of the CAPAZ (Supply Chains of Peace): Route towards the mitigation of risks in the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining sector in Colombia and the access to supply chains complying with the OECD Due Diligence Guide. The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) implements this, thanks to the support of The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and Security and Human Rights Implementation Mechanism (SHRIM).

Experience sharing

The event provided a space to share learned lessons and reflections on the challenges that miners face on the path towards responsible mining.

In this context, ARM familiarized the participants with the processes of the OECD  Due Diligence Guide for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas in order to implement the best practices and ensure respect for human rights and Non-participation in conflicts.

In addition, ARM shared information about CRAFT Passport to Formal Markets, developed as a solution that facilitates connecting miners to formal markets. It also facilitates due diligence with a focus on development and continuous improvement.

“Thank you for giving us the opportunity to learn about these useful tools for the favorable transformation and proper management of responsible mining, since it has a great influence on the economy of our society”, said Esmilda Pérez, legal representative of the Association of Cuturú Producers from Causasia, Colombia.

The Transformations of the Iquira Mining Organization

According to Wilson Mesa, an engineer at the Iquira Mining Organization, the main benefit that they received from their Fairmined Certification was the ability to export their gold, which has grown significantly since 2014.

This effort has become visible internationally: Fairmined gold produced in Iquira has been used to make international awards such as the Nobel Peace Prize medal and the Golden Palm of the Cannes Film Festival.

In addition, they highlighted that the Fairmined Premium (for every kilo of gold sold, each certified mining organization receives USD 4,000 to invest in social, labor and environmental improvements) has allowed them to improve their infrastructure, train their workers and participate in national and international events. In addition, it contributes to the development of their community with donations to the elderly of the Municipality of Iquira and the school of Pacarní. Get to know the investments made by the Iquira Mining Organization with the Fairmined Premium.