OCIM takes a majority stake in precious metals trader CI ESLOP
Ocim Metals & Mining SA (“OCIM”) is pleased to announce that it has acquired a majority stake in CI ESLOP (“Eslop”) and granted its new subsidiary alternative financing in the form of an offtake arrangement and gold prepayment in an initial amount of US$1.5 million.
Eslop is a family-owned precious metals trading company established in Medellín to promote a sustainable development model for small-scale gold mining communities in Colombia in 2016. Their team makes it possible for artisanal miners in remote areas of the country access—despite ongoing tensions—to formal distribution channels, in particular via their legal and administrative standing to export to major international markets such as Switzerland and the USA. This integration into formal value chains relies on fair and transparent agreements, as well as stringent control and risk management processes. A further aspect of this integration is the ability to offer its artisanal suppliers access to banking channels using a payment method (Visa card) specifically designed to meet the needs of this population.
OCIM has taken a majority equity stake in Eslop. This transaction is designed to ensure the sustainability of Eslop's work with artisanal miners and to facilitate its access to international markets and financing. It also enhances OCIM's value proposition by bringing it closer to the upstream end of the precious metals value chain, towards gold and platinum producers.
In parallel, OCIM has granted Eslop alternative financing in the form of an offtake agreement and prepayment of gold, with an initial amount of US$1.5 million. This financing increases Eslop's procurement capacity vis-à-vis its suppliers and is expected to be progressively increased to enhance Eslop's market share.
“This twofold capital and financing operation is a major step in the concrete implementation of our ESG strategy and gives us the opportunity to generate a direct positive impact on artisanal mining communities, in line with the new Colombian government's desire to improve respect for human rights in the country. This partnership, which underscores the quality of Franco-Colombian relations, also stems from the convergence of our entrepreneurial cultures and the strong complementarity of our respective models,” explains Laurent Mathiot, CEO of OCIM.
Now part of the OCIM Group, Eslop is a Colombian company based in Medellín specialised in trading precious metals, primarily gold and platinum. Founded in 2016 by two families of former artisanal miners, its entrepreneurial team has gradually deployed its own buying offices in Medellín and in the municipalities of Quidbo, Caucasia and Magdalena, as close as possible to production sites. Eslop's model is based on formalising artisanal mining communities by integrating them with international distribution channels, notably through its collaboration agreement with the prestigious Swiss smelter MKS Pamp. Eslop is the only trader working with artisanal miners to offer the option of receiving payment for their gold production as credit on a Visa card, a solution in line with the specific characteristics of this population which the firm has known and supported for many years. Eslop directly employs around 40 people across Colombia, provides an additional 90 jobs indirectly, and works with over 5,000 suppliers throughout the country.
To learn more about Eslop, visit: https://www.cieslop.com/en/