La Union mining organization is located in one of the municipalities with a mining tradition in the department of Antioquia (Colombia): Caceres, on the Los Conchos vereda (subdivisional administrative part of a municipality in Colombia). Among green landscapes, the Caceri River, the Guinea Brook, and the Cauca River, this community has been dedicated to trades such as catching bread, livestock, fishing, gold panning (artisanal gold mining) and small-scale mining.
The people of this area are characterized by their cultural richness, mixing traditions from the department of Antioquia and Cordoba. They are kind and collaborative people.
La Union is a subcontract of mining formalization. It is an alluvial explotation that started operations in 2018 and does not use any type of chemicals for its extraction processes, since gold is presented in free form. To recover the gold, they perform material classification and gravimetry through concentration in gutters and batting. Then the material is melted.
Among La Union’s organizational backbones you have: mining that generates progress for all through fair wages and social security for its employees, care of the environment, payment of royalties, and help to the community.
La Union was created to offer formal job opportunities to miners in the area. Currently, 20 men and 4 women work at this mining organization, who permanently live in the exploitation area.
The miners have become a close group that usually meets in their break times to play soccer, board games or watch novels, in addition to their mining work.
The mining organization has a greenhouse where different tree species are planted in order to carry out reforestation processes in the intervened areas; and with two orchards in which they grow food like onions, herbs and chili peppers. In addition, they make use of compost to take advantage of organic waste.
Positive impacts on the community
Approximately 30 families derive their livelihoods from La Union mining organization.
La Union gets its food supplies from those produced by the inhabitants of the area: banana, cassava, chicken and fish, among others; it also buys the drinking water to drink and cook. This has allowed the improvement of the economy of many families, avoiding displacement due to unemployment.
Also, La Union has supported the community with donations of school supplies for the children of the elementary school of Los Conchos, Christmas gifts, Mother’s Day celebration, road improvement, and a wooden bridge to facilitate mobility, among others.
Challenges and achievements with the Fairmined Certification
“We are interested in complying with the Fairmined Standard for a matter of quality, recognition, and compliance with social, labor and environmental aspects, to benefit mine workers and contribute to the development of the nearby communities of the mining project,” expressed by the mining organization.
In its process to achieve Fairmined Certification, the mining organization faced various challenges such as the implementation of improvements in its management system, working conditions, and environmental issues.
In addition to improving its extraction methods, being certified with the Fairmined Standard is an opportunity for the mining organization to provide better conditions for its staff, continue adapting its facilities and add quality to all processes.
Location: Antioquia Department, Colombia
Number of workers: 20 men and 4 women
Type of extraction: alluvial
Company founded: 2017
Fairmined Certification: October 2019
“We are looking for a gold of origin,‘ gold to be proud of ’, certified, legal, and environmentally friendly, that complies with our employees and that helps the community.”