Mina Chede, a progressive path of self-improvement and hard work
The mining operation Mina Chede is located near the municipality of El Tambo, in the Cauca department of Colombia. The mine was acquired in 2007, when the construction and assembly work started, until the company received the Environmental Licence in 2011 and could start extracting gold. One of the workers, Anny Jaramillo, the Planning Director of the organisation, explains that the operation was successful thanks to patience and hard work, which gradually improved, something she says is “normal in the small-scale mining sector, where there isn’t much investment in the exploration of the site and you get to know the deposit as you work”.
“We think the main benefit for us is that of becoming an example to follow in good mining practices, and to be fully founded on the concept of sustainability. We want to obtain social recognition for the way we manage our surroundings, be them environmental, social, technical or work-related” says Anny.
The region where the mining operation is based is a mining region; one half of the population here is engaged in mining and the other in agriculture, especially coffee, agave, sugar cane and pine.
About 100 people depend on Mina Chede. Furthermore, the organisation constantly promotes the workers’ education in order to allow them to improve their and their family’s quality of life.
The path towards Fairmined Certification
“Having the Fairmined Certification is a guarantee of appropriate conditions for the people who depend on the company Mina Chede (directly and indirectly), as the standards make sure to generate a long-lasting process within a frame of constant improvement”.
The support process lasted about six months with Mina Chede. One of the main challenges of the organisation was to face the doubts generated by the changes to the commercialization model.
The organisation’s main achievement in obtaining the Fairmined Standard was that the people at the heart of the company believed in the process, as well as the support of the Better Gold Initiative BGI and the Alliance for Responsible Mining’s (ARM).
For the organisation, the aim of the certification is to be sustainable and to work hand in hand with the local communities and authorities so as to increase the benefits and encourage development. The Fairmined Standard is a seal of guarantee that certifies the gold extracted by artisanal and small-scale mining organisations that employ responsible and internationally recognised practices. These companies receive a Fairmined Premium to be invested in the sustainable development of the organization and local community.
“A mining organisation with high standards brings with itself an integration effect and it creates the possibility of generating production chains that positively impact the economy, the environment and the local communities”.
“Many people in the world have started worrying more and more about how the goods they consume are produced. We decided to get this certification because we firmly believe that only an activity that takes into account all its surroundings (social, environmental, financial) deserves to be called mining. Nevertheless, what we are doing now could become mandatory in the future. For this reason, we want to tell all the miners who wish to follow this path: make it your decision today, don’t wait for it to be an obligation tomorrow”. Anny Jaramillo, Planning Director at Mina Chede.
Location: Cauca Department, Colombia
Number of workers: 32 men and 3 women
Type of extraction: underground
Company founded: 2007
Fairmined Certification: October 2018