The planetGOLD project in Peru takes a look at the country's artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector, analyzing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and proposing measures to facilitate the sector's reactivation and formalization process.
The economy in the world has been stagnated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis affects all sectors and especially the most vulnerable social groups, such as the one formed by artisanal and small-scale miners. Peru is the largest gold producer in Latin America and the sixth in the world, however, measures to prevent contact and protect the health of people include locking down borders and quarantine, which means stopping work.
The paralyzation of artisanal mining activities in Peru has affected more than 1 million families, which subsist directly and indirectly from the ASGM sector. Artisanal miners generally have limited cash flow and depend on the income of previous mining campaigns to get by. This means that during the pandemic, ASGM miners could survive for around 15 to 20 days.
We must emphasize that the Peruvian government is taking measures for the reactivation of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), facilities that small formal miners could take advantage of; however, it is important to consider the miners who are still in the process of formalization and the pallaqueras (women who select the residual mineral from the stones) also require support.
In the document below published by the Global Environment Facility-funded planetGOLD programme, the artisanal and small-scale mining sector (ASGM) in Peru is examined, providing an analysis of the effects of the pandemic and proposing some measures that facilitate its reactivation and formalization process.
These measures involve the formation of an advisory group, the commercialization of gold through a public company, the direct supervision of the beneficiation plants and gold trading points; the scope of the credit for MSMEs towards the miners in the formalization process and the access of a bonus to the mineral recyclers.