With several underground mines and two processing plants at its Segovia and Marmato operations in Colombia, Gran Colombia Gold (TSX: GCM; US-OTC: TPRFF) is the South American country’s largest underground gold and silver producer.
Gran Colombia Gold’s mining operations also incorporate an artisanal miner model that contracts third party miners to work on its concessions and deliver mineralized material to the company’s mill for processing—enhancing its relations with the local community.
“Rather than displace the artisanal miners, we allowed them to stay where they are working as long as they are not interfering with our operation,” explains Mike Davies, the company’s chief financial officer. “We entered into contracts with them. We buy their material for our processing plant and pay them based on the gold content and then take it from there.”
Davies notes that Segovia, which the company acquired in 2010, is in a historic mining district and artisanal miners have been mining there for generations. “People just want to mine like their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents,” he explains. “It’s part of our social licence to operate.”
Continue reading at The Northern Miner.