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By:  Laura GalvisMarket Development Officer – Alliance for Responsible Mining

 Alloy is a Colombian-based gold refinery and chemical compound manufacturer based in Bogota. The company has been a Fairmined authorized supplier since 2015. With a huge focus on the international markets, Alloy has developed a unique product of its type: traceable gold potassium cyanide (GPC) that is used in gold plating solutions. The combination of the Fairmined certified sourced gold and cutting-edge technology which Alloy uses, guarantees both the quality of the products offered as well as the safety of workers, control over the environmental impact and a positive transformation in the mining communities. Alloy’s GPC represents an appealing offer for a variety of sectors such as numismatic, technology, automobile, industrial, and jewelry, among many others.

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Fairmined Potassium Gold Cyanide made by  Alloy


LAURA GALVIS: Tell us about the origin of Alloy and how did you start working with Faimined?

Alloy was incorporated in 2014 for the main purpose of meeting the demand of refined gold for local jewelry manufacturers. Although our story starts from college as three students that started our internships in my family’s precious metals refinery. Our first project was executing the recycling of spent auto catalysts that contain platinum group metals. We gained great experience with this first project. The project was launched successfully for a couple of years until one of the main metals (rhodium) dropped significantly in price, making the whole project unfeasible.

One market that was underdeveloped was the local market for pure gold which was a market composed of many jewelry shops with small orders that implied lots of work and low margins. By 2014, I saw the opportunity to start my own company and invited my college friends and coworkers, Luis Romero and Daniel Barrera, as partners.
Through multiple meetings with local jewelry manufacturers, their consensus was that they did not want any gold related to pawn shops due to the uncertainty of the origin and the possibility of stolen items to be in their supply chain. We opted for 100% mined gold in our supply chain. In 2014 we researched all the possible sources for gold and found two initiatives based on Colombia Oro verde backed by USAID and the Fairmined initiative. We initiated contact with Fairmined and find out the amazing work that is being done by the Fairmined initiative. From this point, we knew we had to source gold from Fairmined certified mines.

LG: What is Alloy’s product and service offer and who can access this offer?

 A: Our main product is Gold Potassium cyanide (gold salts) GPC is a chemical compound used in multiple industries to plate small amounts of gold onto different kinds of surfaces, primarily used in the electronics industry, jewelry, and numismatics. We offer 100% Fairmined certified 24k gold, pure silver, gold, and silver alloys, gold and silver wire, and gold and silver sheet.

LG: ¿What is that aspect of your business that makes it different from all others? ¿What’s your value proposition?

A: We are a consistent and responsible source of gold and silver with the highest standards of respect for human rights. We export 100% Fairmined products because it is aligned with our principles.

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Fairmined and Alloy’s teams during a visit to Alloy’s headquarters.

We pay great attention to and can control the segregation principles established by the Fairmined standard. We are the only Fairmined certified GPC chemical compound manufacturers that can guarantee full traceability in electroplating. This type of traceability and segregated chemical compound is unique in the world.

“ Our GPC is special: the traceability, impact and segregated chemical compound is unique in the world.”

Andrés Castellanos - Alloy co-founder Tweet
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LG: For those who haven’t heard about it before, tell us what is GPC and wherein the different sectors we encounter products that use it.

A: Gold Potassium Double Cyanide (GPC) is a chemical compound used to coat surfaces with gold through chemical and electrolytic baths to obtain decorative or functional coatings. It is used in the electronics industry due to its excellent properties, also in luxury items and jewelry due to its high resistance to corrosion, and in the aerospace industry, and the medical sector.

The idea of creating it in Fairmined metals arose in 2019 in a call with our Fairmined account manager, I casually mentioned that we had a GPC production plant that we were not using at that time. She told us that there was a company in the UK that was looking for this type of chemical compound and was looking for a supplier that could guarantee production with Fairmined certified gold. We immediately got in touch and began to structure the entire project, after 8 months in the midst of the closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to make the first shipment.

In each phase that is carried out in Alloy, a demanding quality control is carried out.

LG: ¿What are the main challenges ALLOY faces while offering more responsible sources of gold? 

The well-funded information campaigns promoting false claims about recycled gold. It is very hard to convince a company that is using recycled gold that claims that its source is traceable, transparent, and responsible. While the reality is that recycled gold is untraceable, and if it is untraceable, it is extremely irresponsible to make any type of claim around this source of gold that is primarily sourced from pawn shops. While this happens, any type of initiative, such as Fairmined, doesn’t seem interesting at all. The spotlight for responsibility and sustainability is stolen by well-funded marketing campaigns that claim that recycled gold is the most responsible, transparent, and sustainable source of gold; these statements undermine the hard work being executed by the Fairmined initiative that works alongside the miners and with communities on-site to promote social and environmental well-being.

The Fairmined initiative has the social component as the backbone of the initiative. It’s all about the people in the Fairmined supply chain. The success of this initiative is measured by the positive impact it has on the people that work in these mining communities. You cannot claim recycled gold to be sustainable because it lacks the social component, communities are not being benefited by this type of gold. Additionally, it is impossible to determine the origin of this gold. The pawn shop is as far as you can reach with regard to traceability.


LG: Do you consider that Fairmined has changed your business? How do you see the whole universe of gold and certified small-scale mining?

We have become Fairmined activists. After visiting the mines and contrasting the different sources of gold available on the market, we have a clear vision of what the future of the gold industry should look like. As a company, we are on a mission to communicate the outstanding work that Fairmined does and to promote the incredible benefits of having a supply chain that ensures social and environmental well-being throughout the supply chain, as well as full traceability and transparency.

Alloy,  Bogotá – Colombia.

LG: ¿What’s in the future for Alloy?

We have many projects on the horizon: We will incorporate Fairmined certified GPC into the supply chain of an electronics manufacturer. ASM certified gold is not making its way into electronics supply chains and we offer a great opportunity for electronics companies to integrate this 100% traceable, responsibly sourced gold into their supply chains.

We want the coin industry to adopt 100% GPC traceable sources on their plated coins.

We expect consistent growth in companies that plate their Vermeil jewelry with Fairmined certified GPC and are looking forward to our first clients in Asia and the United States. 

We are opening the first 100% Fairmined e-commerce store based in Miami Fl that will make small purchases of Fairmined-certified silver and gold effortless, starting from 1.5 grams of gold and 15 grams of silver with delivery times of 2-4 days.

If you need more information write us at:

To see Alloy’s portfolio click here

Visit Alloy’s e-commerce  here.

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