In the Peruvian desert many hours from the capital Lima, lies a small gold mining town by the name of Relave. In Relave families have depended on artisanal and small-scale mining since the 1980's when economic hardship and conflict drove numerous families to settle as informal miners.
Starting out without basic infrastructure, they worked the tailings left by previous large-scale international mining operations and managed to transform their challenging situation over the years. Relave is now a 4,000-person town and an international exporter of ethical gold and silver. These achievements are mainly the fruit of the hard work, vision and commitment to responsible mining of the AURELSA Company that in 2012 obtained Fairmined Certification. As a Fairmined certified organization AURELSA has been able to export at a fair price and make important improvements to their mining organization and in the community.
Now thanks to Virginia based eco-friendly refiner Hoover and Strong, supporting responsible miners in AURELSA has never been easier. Led by the demand and commitment of Ethical Metalsmiths member jewelers, the company began applying its fully traceable refining and production to Fairmined Gold. Since then interest in ethical gold has been rising steadily and Hoover and Strong now offers a stock of Fairmined Gold and silver available for ordering by anyone interested in supporting responsible artisanal and small-scale miners.
"We are proud to play an integral part in the Fairmined initiative. With the support of Ethical Metalsmiths and participating jewelers, certified mining communities like AURELSA will be able to improve the lives of their communities significantly due to the generation of more wealth and improved working conditions," said Torry Hoover, President of Hoover & Strong.
Fairmined certifies gold from empowered responsible artisanal and small-scale mining organizations who meet world-leading standards for responsible practices. It was created by the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), a non-profit organization globally recognized as a leader and pioneer of responsible artisanal and small-scale mining. Fairmined is backed by a rigorous 3rd party certification and audit system that ensures that small artisanal mining organizations comply with the Fairmined Standard and obtain access to fair markets.
"The goal for responsible sourcing isn't just to offer materials that lessen the negative impact of our industry, but instead to create alternatives that can provide a positive impact in the communities and environments where these resources are extracted. Fairmined Gold is a material with a story we want to share," said Ethical Metalsmiths member and Fairmined Licensee, Anna Bario of Bario-Neal.
Fairmined Gold means assurance for miners, the industry and consumers. The gold can be traced from mine to market. By buying Fairmined Gold businesses and individuals contribute to positive change through social development and environmental management in mining communities like AURELSA, giving everyone a source of gold to be proud of.
As a testimony to the increased demand for ethical gold the past years, the Fairmined Initiative has experienced significant success. Not only did the export of Fairmined Gold from certified organizations grow 500% in 2014, Fairmined Gold was also showcased at important events such as the Golden Globes and the Venice Film festival. In 2014 for the first time ever Fairmined Gold was used by the Swiss luxury watch and jewellery manufacturer Chopard to create the Palme D'Or for the Cannes film festival and the first watch made from certified gold from artisanal mining. Also the Central Bank of Luxembourg showed its recognition of the initiative when the world's first ethical commemorative coin was launched with the presence of AURELSA Manager Rosa Reyes.
"Thanks to our recent updates to the Fairmined model businesses of all shapes and sizes can now support certified Fairmined mines. We are thrilled by the commitment which Hoover and Strong has made which clearly shows their leadership in the US jewelry and refining industry," said Kenneth Porter, Fairmined Business developer in the Alliance for Responsible Mining.
Hoover and Strong offers Fairmined casting grain, sheet and round wire in 14K Yellow, 18K Royal, 24K Yellow, Sterling Silver and Fine Silver. Additional Fairmined products may be offered based on customer needs. For more information or to place an order at Hoover and Strong, please visit www.hooverandstrong.com.
For more information on Fairmined go to www.fairmined.org or send an email to [email protected]