Artisanal miners receive their second premium and access bank accounts
In 2020, the number of Chocoan Gold panners receiving their "premium" for the responsible gold exported to Switzerland almost doubled since 2019. In total, they will get about $53,000 on their newly-opened bank account. For the first time, these gold producers enter a formal financial system.
A total of 721 artisanal gold panners from the municipalities of Istmina, Quibdó and Condoto in Colombia now enter the formal financial sector. By adhering to the Better Gold Initiative, these miners, access a financial incentive for fully meeting responsible social and environmental criteria of the initiative and exporting their gold to Switzerland. The group of gold miners receives a total of $52,490 through a digital transaction which also symbolizes their entry into the Colombian financial sector.
An incentive provided by the Swiss Better Gold Association
Each of the miners receives a “premium” of 0.70 dollars for every gram of gold exported to Switzerland, which is then purchased by Chopard watches and jewelry brand, affiliated to the Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA). As part of Chopard’s contribution to the Better Gold Initiative (BGI), the premium to barequeros is provided by this watch and jewelry brand. The incentive is distributed among these artisanal miners according to their production & export statistics in the first half of the year.
A reward for environmentally and socially sustainable gold panning
This reward is granted to the gold panners fulfilling with various BGI criteria such as legal requirements for gold extraction in the country, implementation of artisanal extraction techniques (including the non-use of mercury and machinery), protection of biodiversity, respect for human rights, absence of child labour and the schooling of the minors in their charge, among others.
The importance of having a bank account
The Initiative has intensively collaborated with its partners C.I. Anexpo and Atabaque to overcome limited access to financial services to barequeros, one of the most important bottlenecks in the artisanal and small-scale mining.
This allows the barequeros to enter a formalized system, instead of selling their gold for cash. Thanks to that, the traceability of gold from its origin is significantly improved. The "premium" is given to the gold panners through a bank account, user friendly and free of use. The Better Gold Initiative also carries financial education activities to help these people use this new financial product.