Our Fairtrade Gold Sourcing

This video shows the processes that take place at Sotrami. Choose the subtitle tab on the lower right to activate the English text; the voice over is in French.

Fair Trade Gold Sourcing: Our fairtrade gold sourcing is mostly from the Sotrami mine in Peru, though other sources in South America are opening up in 2016.

Our initial purchases of fairtrade gold come from Sotrami. We will be sourcing from small-scale gold mines in Africa later in the fall of 2015.

Facts About the Sotrami Mine in Peru
  • Sotrami is a hard rock underground mine located in Peru's central Atacama Desert, next to the village of Santa Filomena.
  • The cooperative was formed in 1989 by small-scale artisan miners who were able to obtain a legal mining concession from the state. The cooperative today has 166 equal shareholders who work on approximately 2,500 acres.
  • Cyanide is used in tanks to safely leach the gold from the ore.

Given the economic conditions in Peru, and how destructive small-scale gold mining is in other locations, many consider this mine and its surrounding community a living miracle.

  • Approximately three thousand people live in the village of Santa Filomena, and all depend upon the Sotrami mine.
  • The company put electricity in the village, built a playground, created a system for collecting trash, and created a shuttle system to take workers to and from the mine.
  • There is a social contract for retirement and medical support.
  • The workers make an average monthly wage of about $500, which is about 20% higher than the average wage in Peru. Sotrami miners can feed their families, and their children do not have to work in the mines. In fact, school is compulsory.
  • The fairtrade premium has enabled Sotrami to buy supplies for clinics, purchase computers and supplies for their schools and elderly center. It has also allowed the mine to open a non-profit store, allowing the community to buy food at an affordable price.
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