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Keep in mind that we are always open to receive your questions and we will try to answer you as accurately and quickly as possible. Don’t hesitate to contact us! Here are some questions you might have…
What is artisanal and small-scale-mining?
Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) refers to unconventional, non-industrialized mining operations. Its a labor-intensive activity which often drives socioeconomic and cultural realities for the surrounding communities. In some cases ASM is in poor, vulnerable communities looking to make ends meet; in other cases it is a traditional activity passed down over generations. Mining communities are often remote and financially unstable, with limited access to basic resources. Unfortunately, most domestic and international mining regulations are designed for medium and large-scale mines, which means ASM miners remain vulnerable and outside the framework of public policies.
What is eco-friendly gold?
There are several ways in which gold is found. Sometimes it’s threaded through hard rock formations, other times it’s found in riverbeds and floodplains. The latter is easily separated from the sediment using basic tools, however large quantities of mercury are often used to quickly separate the gold from the excess. This makes the ASGM sector the largest source of global mercury demand, and mercury pollutant, in the world. While cheap and efficient, the use of mercury has a high environmental and health cost to the miners, their families, and the surrounding communities. Eco-friendly gold is processed without any mercury or toxic chemicals. Using gravity methods for extraction and agave and rain water (never bleach) for concentration, this “eco-gold“ is a sustainable and healthy alternative to traditional gold processing. Eco-gold comprises all of Amalena’s jewelry, and we are honored to offer clients this unique metal; mined by hand and processed with eco-friendly techniques.
What is recycled gold?
Most of the gold supply originates directly from mines, but some also comes from previously refined gold – this enters the market as Recycling gold. Previously refined gold comes from many places (including industrial by-products and scraps from processing), and refineries often collate gold from multiple sources. Dirty gold easily enters the supply chain producing recycled gold, and unfortunately it has been historically impossible to reliably trace the source.
Is recycled gold ethical and eco-friendly?
This is a difficult question to answer. Nowadays, recycled gold is promoted in the jewelry market as `green´, `ecological´ and even `sustainable´. However the latter doesn’t consider the social issues behind the gold production at small-scale levels. It is possible that recycled gold brings environmental benefits, if its supply chain is fully transparent and traceable; otherwise you could end up financing “dirty gold”. We believe it is important is to promote responsible ASM. Ethics is about humans, and there are more than 100 million ASM miners who deserve to have opportunities for improving living conditions for themselves and their communities while enhancing ASM techniques for minimal environmental impact.
What is Dirty Gold?
Gold is an economically complex mineral due to its high price, use as a financial asset and standard as ultimate currency. The dirty story behind gold involves violent forces, money laundering, forced labour, drug trafficking, illegal arms trade, and gross human rights violations. In addition, there is significant exploitation of both natural resources and of vulnerable communities caught in the middle. Gold involved with any illegal activity and/or destruction of the environment is called Dirty Gold.
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