Globally, millions of people depend on Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) for survival. The 15 million ASM miners work in harsh and dangerous conditions to produce just 10-15 percent of global gold supplies, but they make up 90 percent of the global work force in gold extraction. These miners and their families are caught in a vicious circle of exploitation, illegality, and many lack the skills and resources to move forward.
However, if managed responsibly, ASM mining can provide a great opportunity for poverty reduction and sustainable development. This is why Fairtrade has in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders in the sector have developed the Fairtrade Standards for Precious Metals. This groundbreaking initiative enables ASM miners to improve their livelihoods and it assures concerned consumers that gold jewelry they buy is responsibly sourced.
Fairtrade gold network in Africa
Following the success of Fairtrade gold in Latin America, a gold project was launched in Africa in 2012. Together with Solidaridad and other partners, Fairtrade will set standards to certify small-scale gold miners in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Eight mining organisations across the three countries are involved in the project.
In 2016, Syanyonja Artisan Miners’ Alliance (SAMA) from Uganda became the first artisanal small scale mining co-operative in Africa to become Fairtrade certified, bringing much needed hope to communities who risk their lives and environment to mine the rich gold seam that runs around Lake Victoria.
For more information on the gold network in Africa, contact Gonzaga Mungai, Fairtrade Africa’s gold coordinator at email@example.com
Or visit www.fairgold.org