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14 May 2024

A busy 2023 for the Swiss Better Gold Association

Ten years after its creation, SBGA continues to strengthen its commitment to artisanal miners with numerous projects around the world. We take stock of the situation with the publication of its latest annual report.

Year after year, the Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA) has become an increasingly important player in improving the living and working conditions of artisanal and small-scale miners. It also enables Swiss refiners to benefit from responsible and sustainable sources of supply, and gives their customers, the luxury jewellery and watchmaking industries, confidence in the value chain.

The association’s Annual Impact Report 2023 has just been published and presents a wide range of actions taken on the technical assistance, safety and health fronts as part of its Continuous Improvement approach to promoting best practice. No fewer than 4,693 miners are direct beneficiaries of the positive social impact of SBGA’s programs, and 23,465 people are also indirect beneficiaries.
SBGA’s first priority is to strengthen its presence in Latin America, in particular by integrating processing plants into its support system in Peru, where five mines have been accredited. This is a key step towards including a large number of artisanal and small-scale producers in the gold value chain. A second supply chain is also being structured in Colombia with the “barequeros”, the local artisanal gold miners, a country in which forty-five mining operations are supervised by the SBGA. And new countries, such as Nicaragua, are set to join the SBGA programme in the near future.

A vision and dynamism that won OCIM over

Significant support has also been provided to artisanal miners through a number of social and environmental assistance projects at partner gold mines, while collaboration has been strengthened with a number of mines and public institutions to create new long-term initiatives.
Finally, under its new CEO, Diana Cullilas, SBGA has officially become an International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling Body (ISEAL) and has played an active part in a number of multi-stakeholder think tanks, such as the Swiss Artisanal Small Mining Working Group and the London Bullion Market Association Task Force, which aims to include artisanal miners in the responsible metals value chain.
OCIM became one of four new members of the association in 2023, along with Impact Finance and LVMH. ” It’s very important for us to encourage the artisanal mining sector to formalise, to access finance and to be a constructive part of a sustainable ecosystem “, says Laurence Mathiot, OCIM’s Director of Communications and Philanthropy. It’s a commitment to which SBGA’s concrete actions are a perfect response.

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