I do: Fairtrade Gold and the importance of awareness
What can gold mining do for a community? We hear and we read of the price of gold commodities, billions of dollars being spent on creating and developing some of the world’s largest gold exploration projects, but what is the real cost of gold? This is where Fairtrade comes in.
90 percent of the labour force involved in gold mining is made up of artisanal and small scale miners, producing up to 200-300 tonnes of gold each year. It is estimate that 100 million people worldwide depend on small scale mining to get by and support both their families and wider communities, so the health and safety risks that come with gold mining are increased dramatically. Fairtrade Gold is designed to support those small scale miners, ensuring they are paid a fair price and providing money to improve infrastructure for their communities.
Five conferences for change…
The Fairtrade Foundation launched the “I Do” gold campaign in 2015, a campaign designed to raise $1million in Fairtrade Premium for disadvantaged mining communities around the world. Throughout October this year, Fairtrade will be holding five conference events throughout England, Scotland and Wales connecting Fairtrade’s network of 10,000 local campaigning groups, towns, schools, universities and faith groups. The events aim to inspire, motivate and equip community networks to help boost awareness of Fairtrade Gold jewellery in their local area.
Two gold miners from Fairtrade mining projects in Peru and Kenya will be speaking at each of the five conferences, including a visit to leading independent jewellery stores to highlight the ambition of Fairtrade Gold.
Dan Omondi Odida, General Secretary, Micodepro, Kenya will explain how the tiny specks of precious gold help keep his community above the breadline.
Roger Arcos Ponte from Peru will explain how it is only through sales of their gold on Fairtrade terms that the miners and their communities can reap the full reward of being Fairtrade certified.
Don’t just take our word for it…
A business advice clinic will be held on 6th September at International Jewellery London. The clinic will give advice to manufacturers, goldsmiths, brands and retailers about how to use Fairtrade Gold in their businesses. It won’t just be representatives from Fairtrade telling you how the use of Fairtrade gold is benefiting the world of small scale miners, a seminar will also be taking place with representatives of Hockley Mint and Anna Loucah, two leading jewellery manufacturers, sharing how they have incorportated Fairtrade Gold. For more information on these events, visit the IJL website.
Next year, a new online service aimed at supporting the UK jewellery trade to understand and better market and sell Fairtrade Gold is set to launch. The service will centre around Fairtrade Fortnight, the Fairtrade Foundation’s biggest annual promotional campaign. The e-learning platform will bring to life the story of jewellery through the eyes of a gold miner, helping the participant to feel part of the journey, whether it be selling, campaigning or advocating to empower miners to make a better life for themselves.
Breaking the poverty cycle of millions…
Kevin McCullough, Head of Campaigns at the Fairtrade Foundation said: “If Fairtrade Gold becomes the norm in the jewellery industry, the impact could be enormous. This could break the poverty cycle of millions of miners who are cut out of the benefits of this lucrative trade. As consumers and campaigners, we all carry the power in our pocket to make that change.”
Get in touch with our editor Dale Benton at [email protected]
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.