Miners in Peru will have access to the formal market with financial mechanisms generated within the alliance between Caja Los Andes, Minam, Minem, and UNDP.
In Peru, around 300,000 people work in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM). However, their access to formal banking is limited due to informality and bad perceptions of the sector. This affects mining organizations that search for financing working capital and the acquisition of cleaner and environmentally responsible technologies.
On 13th December, Caja Los Andes and the planetGOLD Peru started an alliance for the creation and implementation of ASGM financial mechanisms. The global initiative, financed by the Global Environment Fund (GEF), is executed in Peru by the Ministry of the Environment (Minam), in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Mines (Minem), and with technical assistance from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
"This alliance is important so that small-scale and artisanal miners can be incorporated towards formality in an integral way, in which the financial aspect has a special relevance", comments Alberto Rojas, General Director of Mining Formalization at Minem.
The development of financial mechanisms for the sector can encourage bancarization and its access to the formal market, which is key to proper environmental management and mitigation of environmental impacts produced by mercury.
In this regard, Rocío Santiváñez, Director of Pollution and Chemical Substances Control at Minam, points out that “the Ministry has an important objective, the compliance of Minamata Convention on Mercury. I particularly welcome this alliance that as a Government we support to promote the use of clean technologies in ASGM ”.
Likewise, Rosanna Ramos-Velita, Chairman of the Board of Caja Los Andes, pointed out that "the finance entity is fully committed to the rural world of Peru and its purpose is financial inclusion." She also indicated that the institution is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) on gender and environment issues.
According to Franco Arista, National Coordinator of the planetGOLD Peru project “through two studies, such as the financial inclusion of ASGM and one of the technology providers in Peru, it was shown that ASGM has various barriers that limit its transition to formality, among them the difficult access to banking services"
Through this alliance, the different parties commit 2022 to explore alternative financial mechanisms for ASGM and promote the creation of new credit evaluation models. These activities will be accompanied by an educational and awareness component for the financial institution workers and financial literacy for miners, and women mineral selectors.