Colombia: Workers at emerald mine run by Canadian company Fura Gems allegedly operate in unsafe conditions

Author: Financial Post, Published on: 11 October 2019

“Workers at Canadian-run emerald mine in Colombia are toiling in unsafe conditions: ex-employees”, 11th September 2019

…Workers at the Colombian emerald mine run by Canada’s Fura Gems’ — the first publicly-traded emerald miner operating in the South American nation — have been labouring in unsafe conditions and sometimes lack basic safety equipment, according to four former employees.

Fura set out early last year to revive production at the fabled, four-century-old Coscuez mine, once the Andean country’s largest producer of the gem.

The Toronto-based company promised to operate by the book in a province known for organized crime and dangerous wildcat mining but the sources — who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals — said it had been falling short…

Fura managers at the mine denied staff were working without proper equipment. Fura spokeswoman Rosey Perkins said: “All allegations concerning safety and especially our employees are taken seriously.”…

The alleged problems at Coscuez illustrate the challenges for Colombia in properly regulating miners, as it seeks to garner investment from big-name gold and gem companies…

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