An estimated 100 million people are employed in small-scale mining worldwide, accounting for only about 15% of the world's gold demand, but about 90% of the gold mining workforce.
Peru is considered one of the most important countries in gold mining. The large international mining companies dominate the market in terms of quantity but most of the workforce who work in the gold mines work in many artisanal or small-scale mines. Such an exemplary mine is found in a small village in the Atacama Desert in the south of Peru.
The inhabitants of the village Cuatro Horas live almost exclusively from gold mining. In 2000 the independent prospectors joined together in a limited company. The Mineras Aurifera Cuatro de Enero S.A. (MACDESA) was certified Fairtade for the first time 15 years later. This certification means that MACDESA can sell the gold at better conditions and can invest the additional revenue for the benefit of the village.
Moreover, certification is an important step for the further development of the organisation because the Standards stipulate measures such as safety and health training as well as a responsible consideration of the environment.
(Source: Max Havelaar)
Use of the Fairtrade premium
The Fairtrade premium is an additional amount that is paid for social projects, as well as for future development projects of the mining organization. his amounts to a fixed $2,000 for each kilo of gold mined.
For example, investments are made in the working conditions on site (such as better and safer equipment of the mine with technical facilities and equipment.).
Salaries of teachers working in the districts are paid with the premium. The living conditions of the member families can also be improved in this way by modernizing the accommodations. Member families also receive financial support in the event of illness or death.
In the last years MACDESA has built new housing and sanitary facilities and invested in technical equipment for the mine (pneumatic shovels, electric winches, intercom system), all by means of the premium. Medical care, as well as the electrification of Cuatro Horas have been improved.
In addition to our recycled gold alloys, we are the only Swiss semi-finished goods supplier to offer Fairtrade Gold. We carry sheet metal and wire rod in stock for you in Zurich, as well as cast iron at Brogioli Casting AG, Schaffhausen and Pfister Feinguss, Lengnau.
With our offer of Fairtrade Gold, we support sustainable new production and provide mining communities with a livelihood and good chances for a better life. Our Fairtrade alloys can be found in our alloy list as well as in our shop.
Our Fairtrade alloys can be found in our list of alloys as well as in the shop.