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Fair trade with small-scale mining products


The mining of gold and gemstones is marked by high social and ecological costs these days. Especially the environmental scandals in gold mining, for example the tailings dam spill in the mine Baia Mare in Rumania and the contamination of the rivers Theiß and Donau with mud polluted by cyanide and heavy metals or the unethical connection between diamond mining and rebel armies in some African countries have led to the alienation of the business and the customers.


These days a buyer of a piece of jewellery can not be certain that he or she doesn’t contribute to child labour (e.g. in the small mines or the Indian diamond-cutting industry), slave like working conditions in the developing countries or even to martial conflicts.


According to a resent examination by the ILO in Geneva about 13 million people with their family members either run their own mining businesses, not only with gemstones and precious metals but with nearly every mining product existing, or are employed in dependence, often working under catastrophic social and ecological conditions.



Small scale diamond mining in mine tailings, Kimberley, South Africa

Copyright 2004 Thomas Siepelmeyer. Design und Umsetzung: Geo.net IT