National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Org. brings Fairmined metals to North America

2013-07-24

Envigado, Colombia--The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) announced that Fairmined metals now are available to jewelers in North America due to a recent joint venture called FairSources, which will aid three small-scale mining communities in Peru.

Fairmined is an initiative and movement by and for miners that applies to ethical gold extracted by artisanal and small-scale miners certified under ARM’s Fairmined Standard.

The standard includes four types of requirements: social development, economic development, environmental protection and labor conditions. Certified miners receive a guaranteed minimum price and a premium payment, which is democratically reinvested in community projects and in improving mining operations.

Now, FairSources, a joint venture between Canada’s Fair Trade Jewellery Company and S&P Trading, based in Paris, is authorized to trade Fairmined gold in North America, which “represents a monumental achievement not only for the fair jewelry movement, but for artisanal and small-scale miners globally,” ARM said.

The availability of Fairmined gold in the United States and Canada will improve the livelihoods of two artisanal and small-scale mining communities in Peru, Sotrami and Aurelsa, as well as the Cotapata Cooperative in Bolivia. All three communities are located in high altitudes in harsh conditions where mining is historically the most stable work.

From these communities FairSources will be offering a variety of Fairmined casting grains to North American jewelers, including 18-karat gold (yellow, nickel white, nickel-free white with palladium) and 14-karat gold (yellow and nickel white). The silver and palladium used in the alloys are from recycled consumer sources, ARM said.

FairSources plans to bring Fairmined silver to the market in the near future in addition to other gold alloys, as demand dictates.

In addition to casting grains, FairSources will offer finished semi-mounts and wedding bands and white-label contract manufacturing for chains and brand holders.

“This initiative is important because it makes sourcing easier for all jewelers. Our goal has always been to expand market access for responsibly sourced minerals. With ARM’s new Fairmined Standard, we can continue our mission using their expansive framework for licensing. In the end it’s really about helping these mining communities and making consumers feel confident about their jewelry again,” said Ryan Taylor, co-founder and chief designer of the Fair Trade Jewellery Company.

ARM said it continues to work with various entities in North America to increase market opportunities for the Fairmined certified mining communities.

For additional information on Fairmined certification, registration and licensure, contact ARM’s Kenneth Porter at kennethporter@communitymining.org.