The Gramalote project in Colombia, now an equal joint venture between AngloGold Ashanti and B2Gold, is supporting a number of ASM formalisation projects. As in many areas in which AngloGold Ashanti operates, ASM has a long tradition in the area surrounding the proposed mine.
AngloGold Ashanti believes that formalisation of ASM can be important in stopping illegal and unsafe smallscale mining. Gramalote Colombia is contributing land in support of a number of ASM formalisation projects in the municipality of San Roque and its communities of La María hamlet and Providencia village.
Gramalote started a pilot formalisation process in San Roque in 2018 with 18 traditional informal miners from the La María hamlet. In July of that year, the company, with the support of the Secretariat of Mines of the provincial government of Antioquia, signed an act of mediation with the miners, through which a formalisation subcontract would be granted and 16 mining production units legalised in a 15ha area.
Gramalote has since continued its support for the formalisation processes being rolled out by the San Roque Municipal Administration, signing seven new subcontracts with 40 miners in Cristales, Manizales and El Diluvio.
Material extracted from the recently formalised mines will be processed in a mineral processing plant to be built on the Clarita property, also in the San Roque Municipality. Gramalote will help finance the plant which is expected to process material from all small-scale mines that join the formalisation process.
In another formalisation process in San Roque, led by the mayor’s office, seven other mining production units near the Cristales village are in the process of formalisation.
In La María, formalisation began in March 2019 when 18 miners signed a contract that established Sociedad Mineros La María S.A.S. The Secretariat of Mines of the government of Antioquia, after inspections, declared nine of the newly formed production units viable and these have about 60 employees.
A programme was put in place where these artisanal and small-scale miners were trained by SENA, the state institution committed to community education, on issues related to mining safety, good mining practices and working in confined spaces.