working with miners and the community

 

A team of us from Hockley Mint, visited the Nsangano gold mine in Geita, Tanzania, August 2015. African mines are not yet fully Fairtrade accredited, but are going through accreditation processes - the Fairtrade gold we currently use is from Peru, but we hope to soon be using Gold from Africa too.

The Nsangano mine has been working towards meeting Fairtrade standards for the past 2 years and is expected to received certification within 1 year. The training the miners have received, has enabled them to develop a safe working, organised mine. When compared to another local mine that doesn't have Fairtrade's involvement, we could see drastic differences. On the other  local mine, we saw young children working on the mine; amongst mercury which has harmful affects on the workers and environment was being used in many areas of the mine. Although the Nsangano mine is still using mercury, mercury is being used in a specific area, so as not to leak into water systems and gloves and masks had been provided. When the Nsangano mine is fully Fairtrade certified, miners will have access to retorts, known as gold catchers. This will reduce the effects of toxic chemicals such as mercury and cyanide, used in the amalgamation process. Fairtrade Gold carries the Fairtrade stamp. 


Marianne, one of the women who breaks down the rocks into small fragments to extract the gold, said she would like safety glasses to prevent small fragments of rock entering her eyes, these and other basic health and safety requirements are what Fairtrade miners are asking for and will be able to access in the future.