working with miners and the community


We visited the Nsangano gold mine in Geita, Tanzania, August 2015. The mine has been working towards becoming Fair Trade accredited for the past two years. The mine is 1 year away from becoming a Fair trade mine. The training they have received so far, has enabled them to develop a safe working, organised mine. When compared to another local mine, we could see a drastic differences. On another local mine, we saw children working on the mine; the earth had been dug up in several areas, sluice tables were amongst the piles of earth, and mercury 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 Fair Trade accredited, miners will have access to retorts, known as gold catchers. This will eliminate the use of toxic chemicals such as mercury and cyanide, used in the amalgamation process.

 We spoke with many of the miners about the changes they would like to see to the mine. Andrew a pit miner said he would like a ladder to enter the pit, boots with stronger grips, and a stronger safety helmet.

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. Many of the request from the miners were simple, basic health and safety rights.