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]
Copper production from top ten companies to increase by 3.8%
Copper production from the world’s top companies is set to increase by up to 3.8% this year, following a fall of 0.2% in 2020, GlobalData analysis reveals. Last year’s marginal slump saw production drop to 11.76 million tonnes (Mt).
The initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mining operations was immense, however, six of the ten largest copper producers succeeded in increasing output last year. In 2021, copper production from the top ten copper companies is expected to bounce back, rising by up to 3.8%, to reach 12.2Mt, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
The highest increase in copper production was by Canada’s First Quantum, which, despite all the challenges, reported 10.4% growth in 2020. The company’s Sentinel mine in Zambia and Cobre Panama were key contributors to this growth. While the latter remained under care and maintenance between April and August 2020, it delivered record production levels during the subsequent months.
Codelco, the world’s largest producer of the red metal used in electric vehicles, also bucked the trend.
Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, commented: “Despite Codelco reporting over 3,400 active cases during July 2020, the company achieved 1.2% growth in its production in 2020. The company implemented a four-phase plan, as part of the COVID-19 measures, to ensure the health and safety of its employees, while also avoiding any significant impact to its copper output.”
Although the overall impact was minimal, declines in production were observed from Glencore (8.2%), Antofagasta (4.7%), BHP (3.9%) and Freeport McMoRan (1.3%). Reduced operational workforces due to COVID-19 measures, lower ore grades and production halts due to maintenance were the key disruptors to output during 2020.
The move towards electric vehicles and clean energy from renewables sources such as solar panels and wind turbines has driven the copper price to all-time highs. Copper has been among the best performers over the last month where metals ranging from aluminum to iron ore have surged to their highest prices in years. The rally is being fueled by stimulus measures, near-zero interest rates and signs that economies are recovering from the global pandemic.