ASM Mining in Our Operations and Our ASM Programs

In 2012 and 2013 — in collaboration with the government and mining authorities and the Segovia mayor's office — Aris Mining interacted with the artisanal mining community working illegally in 196 informal mines, in order to initiate dialogue to formalize their activities.

A health and safety baseline for the small-scale mining community was established with the help of the Agency for International Development (USAID), which was considered a very important first step in formalizing this collaboration. Likewise, the specialized training given by Aris Mining's technical and logistics team on topics such as production, quality control and financial support was another key element in this interaction and this new alliance.

The formalization of the relationship with small miners yielded many positive changes and fostered shared values. Aris Mining benefits from the contribution of trained local miners, while local miners benefit from increased safety, better working conditions and ensuring fair compensation.

Operating within a legal and formalized framework also involves eliminating child labor, reducing mercury emissions with a controlled process, access to legal explosives and production less exposed to illicit influences in the supply chain.

Training activities continue to include the safe management of mining waste in accordance with environmental guidelines to protect land and people living and working in adjacent communities.

To date, we are proud to mention the following achievements:

  • 66 operating contracts signed with small miners
  • More than 3,300 small mineras formalized
  • 56,000 million pesos in payment of taxes and royalties over the past three years.​ 12,000 people benefited from the social security system
  • 3,000 new bank accounts opened
  • Alliance with Sena and Comfama providing training of interest to small miners
  • In the first half of 2022, 87 people trained
  • Compliance with the requirements of the regulations on hygiene, safety and occupational health
  • Compliance with the regulations indicated in the environmental management plans.​
  • Purchase of legal explosives
  • Mining Bancarization Forum for the company's 66 small mining contracts

Small-scale Mining as a Model of Global Best Practices

We are proud of the progress made with the small miners in Segovia and Remedios. Aris Mining has presented its ASM case study at the International Sustainability Summit in London, United Kingdom, to the Ministry of Mining of Chile, and also at the University of Medellín-Colombia.

We were acknowledged at Reuters Events in 2022 for the social impact project: Colombian Small Miners: Transforming their lives beyond gold.

Our operations in Segovia and Remedios incorporate an Artisanal Small Miner (ASM) model that contracts local miners to work within our mining title in areas that do not encroach on our mines. Local ASM miners deliver ore to our mines where it is processed without the use of mercury, enhancing our relations with the local community. The results have been encouraging, and we intend to continue advancing and increasing the impact of this initiative.

Mercury Reduction

When Aris Mining formalized the relationship with small-scale artisanal mining, Segovia was known as an area of high mercury pollution. We partnered with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which is a global agency that provides support to counter mercury pollution, and assisted in the creation of the Global Mercury Project in Colombia on behalf of the UN. With this project, 145 tons of mercury were removed from the area in the last 10 years.