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10 Mai 2023


Peru: Gold mine where 27 workers died in a fire was one of Swiss Metalor's partner in initiative to ensure responsible sourcing from informal miners

"Deadly Peru mine is partner in Switzerland’s efforts to clean up gold supply", 10 May 2023

...A gold mine in Peru where 27 workers died in a fire over the weekend is a partner of Swiss institutions in their effort to ensure responsible sourcing from informal miners in the Andean country.

Top Swiss-based refiner Metalor is currently the mine’s only gold buyer, which shipped $363 million worth of gold to Switzerland since 2016, according to Peruvian customs records.

Metalor along with nonprofit Swiss Better Gold Association forged a partnership in 2020 with Minera Yanaquihua SAC, which owns the mine, to ensure a sustainable supply of gold from informal miners with better social and environmental practices, before the deadly incident. Informal prospectors, sometimes called artisanal miners, often work without official employment or machinery...

Swiss firms have the world’s top gold refining capacity and have for years struggled to certify that they can source the precious metal from responsible producers that can trace exactly how and where it was mined. In those efforts, Yanaquihua was a trusted partner that would train artisanal miners to better their standards and move toward formalization.

Metalor said it had paid “site visits on a regular basis” at Yanaquihua and required all environmental and safety permits.

“This is a terrible accident, it’s a tragedy,” said Diana Culillas, Secretary General of the Swiss Better Gold Association. “For the time being we are in a wait-and-see position to really receive the results of the root causers (of the incident).”

Culillas said Yanaquihua remains a partner of Swiss Better Gold. Yanaquihua didn’t respond to a request for comment...