Yani R.L. – the second Bolivian cooperative that achieves Fairmined Certification

Yani R.L. – the second Bolivian cooperative that achieves Fairmined Certification

This cooperative from La Paz is proud to be the second one in the country to obtain Fairmined Certification, a certification which guarantees that their mining processes comply with high standards of security, environmental protection and human rights and opens the door to international commercialization.

Following the example of the 15 de Agosto cooperative, Yani is the second artisanal and small-scale mining organization in Bolivia that obtained Fairmined Certification. Since 2013 the miners have been working hard to improve their mining practices and comply with the requirements of the Fairmined Standard. Their work was rewarded on 6 March 2017, when they achieved the certification. Yani’s miners want to prove to their community and to other cooperatives that it is possible to mine responsibly with a strict handling of mercury, mining safety, social security and environmental management.

We learned a lot about environment-friendly management, and also about all the legal and work-related issues that must be taken into account for small-scale mining organizations. Working with responsibility makes us greater concerning our overall production and the development of our labor”, stated Carlos Yurja Álvarez, partner at Yani and David Quispe Quito, President and partner.

The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) and Cumbre del Sajama, with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), accompanied the Bolivian cooperative on its path towards certification. Cumbre del Sajama has supported the workers and partners from Yani and other Bolivian associations in safety and occupational health, environmental management, administrative issues, gender equality, community relationships, adequate mercury management, among others, to comply with the ethical and environmental requirements of the Fairmined Standard.

The cooperative has shown a strong commitment towards the continuous improvement and wellbeing of their partners, workers, families and the mining community in general. Yani also differentiates itself through the true gender equality which exists in the cooperative, where women develop tasks inside the mining camp, take care of the facilities and work in general administration and in other spaces which would be mostly open to men in other organizations. Mireya Saavedra Rivera, auditor of the IMOSwiss AG, applauds the cooperative’s advances:

Yani is an association which is very committed in every aspect, and willing to comply 100% with the norm. The miners worked tirelessly for this achievement, according to the instructions and support given by Cumbre del Sajama. They are eager to improve their systems of mineral washing and minimize the use of mercury. Furthermore they made big investments in the construction of tailings, shaking tables and in improvements to their warehouses, explosives storage, among others”.

Today the miners of Yani are motivated to comply with the requirements demanded by the Bolivian normativity to be able to export their gold and sell it to international markets. Thanks to the Fairmined Certification, Yani will now receive a Premium of up to 4,000 USD per kilo of Fairmined Gold, on top of the gold price.

This achievement was possible thanks to a project ARM is implementing in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru and which is financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF).

Facts and figures about the Yani cooperative

Number of partners: 75 men and 10 women

Number of workers: 60 men

Type of extraction: hard rock

Yani R.L. is located at 4290 meters (14074.8 feet) above sea level, on a middle mountain range belonging to the Bolivian Andean eastern ranges. Yani has grown with a mission of solidarity towards the mining family and a vision of growth and development. 88 families depend on the cooperative’s activity. The community is also deeply influenced by its ethnic background, inhabited by 40 families of Aymara origin who almost make up the whole population.

Read more about Yani here.