Multi-active Agromining Cooperative of Iquira
FROM COFFEE BEANS TO GOLD NUGGETS
Coffee cultivation sustained community members in the Fairmined certified Cooperativa Multiactiva Agrominera del Municipio de Iquira for generations. But as interest in verdant southwest Colombia’s gold and silver deposits began to rise in the early 2000s, several coffee farmers in the area began splitting their time between artisanal mining and farming. The Iquira miners are leveraging this relatively new community activity to drive positive local change.
Thanks to early organizing efforts, local coffee miners organized to create the Cooperative in 2004 and obtain a registered mining title and official licenses from the Colombian government.
THE COMMUNITY FIRST
The cooperative members have been train to implement socially and environmentally responsible mining practices learned through their Fairmined Certification.
The Íquira cooperative, characterized by a strong sense of unity and a loving spirit, has become aware of the impact that mining can have on its community and how to turn it into a positive element, thanks to the Fairmined training workshops.
Read here about the experience of the jewelry brand Bario Neal visiting the mining organization of Íquira.
Location: Huila Department of Colombia, see the location here.
Associates: 7 women and 27 men
Workers: 3 women and 49 men
Mining Type: Vein
Interesting fact: Due to its location in the famous Colombian coffee zone, miners seasonally alternate between artisanal gold mining and coffee growing.
Learn about the Cooperative’s investments in good practices, the well-being of its workers and the community with the Fairmined premium report.
Learn about Iquira’s audit results 2021 in relation to environmental protection, working conditions, development plan, and commercial relations.
ACHIEVEMENTS THANKS TO THE FAIRMINED CERTIFICATION
The Palme d’Or at the Cannes Festivals and the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015 were made with the certified Fairmined gold of the Íquira cooperative leading to great national and international recognition as a responsible organization.
“A special achievement was developing the export capacity. At first it was difficult because we did not know how to export, but we learned how to do it. In addition, thanks to the Fairmined premium we managed to have our office equipped with all the implements ” Alfredo González, former Legal Representative.
BETTER MINING PRACTICES
- Implementation of technological changes in the processing plants, without the use of mercury.
- Implementation of the Occupational Health and Safety Management System.
WELFARE OF WORKERS AND THE COMMUNITY
- Generation of employment and benefits for families.
- Support for annual training of mining rescuers, assistants and promoters.
- Support in the health campaigns carried out by the health centers of the municipality of Íquira and the town of Pacarní.
- Donation of uniforms to soccer and basketball teams (children and adults).
- Environmental management, use of the sterile material generated in the mines for the maintenance of the roads.
- Prohibition of felling of trees and wildlife hunting in the project area.
“Since mining started in our region, it has improved the lives of families with employment generation”.
JOSE IGNACIO PEREZ
“With the Fairmined certification we have worked and improved the Colombian mining sector, we have improved production and the economy”.
ORGANIZATIONS ACCOMPANYING THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS
The Alliance for Responsible Mining has supported the Cooperative thanks to its projects with the Inter-American Development Bank and its Multilateral Investment Fund, the Help Foundation and the Fund for Environmental Action and Children.
To learn more about how you can support this and other mining organizations and contribute to improving the quality of life of mining communities, visit the alliances section of our website.