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Valcambi commitment to responsible mining and Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM)

We play an active role in driving best practices in our sector working in collaboration with the various stakeholders along the value chain from governing bodies, governments, NGOs, the civil society and sector associations to the upstream and downstream counterparties.

As part of this commitment, since 2014 we have been actively involved in supporting responsible gold mining and sourcing, with a special focus on the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector that plays a crucial role in offering a way out of poverty for millions of miners and their families around the world.

We have created best practice procedures to source confidently from ASMs.

In parallel, we have been supporting initiatives and projects on the ground working in collaboration with multi stakeholders including Fairtrade, Fairmined, the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM), the Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA),  the Alliance for Responsible Mining and Solidaridad that aim at helping miners improve their practices so that they can ultimately access global markets.

While we know there is much more to do, we are proud of the work we have achieved so far:

  • In 2016, Valcambi processed Sotrami Fairtrade Peruvian certified gold destined for the Fairphone 1 mobile device.
  • In 2016, Valcambi joined the Global Mercury Partnership and became a founding member and strategic partner of the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM), a multi-stakeholder partnership aiming to increase responsibly produced tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG) from conflict affected and high-risk areas (CAHRAS).
  • Throughout 2017 and 2018, Valcambi chaired the Standard Committee on the development of CRAFT (“The Code of Risk-mitigation for ASM engaging in Formal Trade”) developed by ARM and RESOLVE.
  • In 2018, we started sourcing from Limata, a small mine in Peru. As the mine was in the process of Fairtrade certification we offered a retroactive Fairtrade premium. This meant that the miners could start selling their gold to us at 95% LBMA market price before being certified and, upon certification, they received the Fairtrade premium back dated from the date of the first shipment.
  • Also in 2018, we started sourcing from MACDESA, a small-scale mine in Peru. As the miners were looking to expand their operation to increase production and were lacking capital to proceed, we offered some financing of the expansion.
  • In 2019, we started sourcing from Cambio, another mine in Peru, as it was on its path to Fairtrade certification, and offered them retro-certification premium.Since 2019, we have contributed to the improvement of livelihoods of 1,300 traditional artisanal gold panners (barequeros), from El Chocó, one of Colombia’s poorest regions by providing them with a stable access to international markets under favourable conditions. This was the result of an initiative in collaboration with the SBGA, BGI, local aggregator Anexpo, and Chopard.
  • Together with the same partners and USAID Oro Legal we joined forces to develop responsible value chains with two small-scale mines from Antioquia, Colombia.
  • More work is under way and we are hoping to have a few new mines coming onstream in the next year and beyond.