SAN LUIS SA (MARTSAL)
San Luis SA is located in the Ayacucho department of Peru. The history of the Mining Company San Luís SA (MARTSAL) is very inspiring: it dates back to the beginning of the 1930s, when the US company San Luis Gold SA arrived to exploit the territory, until it finally shut down in the 60s. In 1989, by decree of the president Alan García, the mining operations were reopened informally, and the majority of ex-workers weet back to their jobs at the mine.
Consequently, in 2002 the Artisanal Mining Company San Luís SA was formally established with 122 associates. Currently, the company counts with 144 associates: 126 men and 18 women.
CONTEXT AND RELATIONSHIP WITH THE COMMUNITY
The company is located near a community that was formed because of the development of various mines in the area; here, we find around 1000 families whose subsistence is mainly provided by mining and its derivatives.
MARTSAL’s contributions to and engagement with the community is absolute; they constantly provide services like salary payment for teachers and health professionals, donation of school material and health equipment, and support for the electrification project. Likewise, they count with a fund to help vulnerable families with expenses they cannot meet, like funeral costs. This testifies the commitment of the mining company to the families of the workers, and to the sustainable development of the community and its inhabitants.
Moreover, the mining organization permanently employs 34 people – 33 men and 1 woman – coming from different areas of the country like Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cusco and Puno. Within the mining area one can hear, among others, the Quechua, Aimara and Spanish languages spoken; this shows the variety of actors involved in the gold production of this organization.
THE PATH TOWARDS FAIRMINED CERTIFICATION
San Luís SA first applied to Fairmined Certification back in 2016. However, the mining organization faced many challenges to be able to meet the “Year 0” requirements of the Fairmined Standard.
Complying with all the requirements can be very difficult for some mining organizations. Nevertheless, thanks to their determination and commitment, with big efforts to improve their practices and the technical assistance provided by the international NGO Solidaridad, San Luís SA managed to pass the external audit and obtained Fairmined Certification in December 2018.
Thanks to this milestone, the organization works with the aim of doubling their production and starting to export their product to international markets, contributing to a responsible gold value chain.
144 associates (126 men y 18 women)
Type of mining: underground
Date of Fairmined Certification: 4/12/2018