Colombia sits on top of two interconnected tectonic plates: The Caribbean Plate on the north coast and the oceanic Nazca Plate that goes down the west coast. This geographical phenomena places Colombia in one of the most privileged locations for mineral resources. Colombian emerald deposits have been discovered as far back as the 16th century, specifically the famous town of Muzo in the Boyaca Province, which claims the most beautiful emeralds in the world. Amongst an abundance of high quality beryls due to the Andes' sedimentary rock formation, Colombia has also proven to be rich in gold deposits and numerous projects have been initiated in order to exploit these resources. These operations, whether Gemstones or Precious Metals, vary from industrial production to artisanal production. For Ethical-Stones, it is important that these resources are exploited responsibly and that the local communities prosper from these activities. We are currently developing projects in these regions: Boyaca Province, Santander Province, Bolivar Province.

These regions are renowned for their valuable minerals and it is in Colombia where Ethical-Stones first developed the Cedar Oil Treatment for gemstones and developed distribution channels for responsibly extracted high-quality Emeralds and Ethical Gold
COLOMBIAN EMERALDS

Colombian Emeralds are renowned globally. Formerly, only three main mines based in the Andes were extracting due to civil unrest. These mines are, the Muzo mine that produces Colombia s most valuable emeralds, the Chivor mine and the Coscuez mine, which are all located in the Boyaca Province.
Fortunately, this has changed owing to an ongoing peace process, and several mines that were not previously exploited for decades are now in operation, thus allowing Colombia to experience a favourable increase in production and the opportunity to deliver more high-quality stones. There are now nine major mines on the Western belt and ten on the Eastern belt of the Andes that are able to extract and deliver Colombias' treasured beryl gemstone to the world:
Western Belt - Muzo, Coscuez, Las Pavas, La Pita, Penas Blancas, La Palma, Yacopi and Quipama
Eastern Belt - Chivor, Somondoco, Guali, La Vega da San Juan, Las Cruces, El Diamente, La Estrella, El Perro, La Mula and El Toro

Colombian emeralds are known to have a warmer intense green and are distinguished as the purest in the world. This is because they are found in the sedimentary rock of the Andes. The tectonic activity in this area transforms raw elements such as beryllium, chromium and vanadium into gaseous or liquid form thus allowing crystallisation to occur when these elements become trapped in the crevasses. The sedimentary rock produces a saline solution, which washes out impurities such as iron, producing the clearest of Emeralds.

ARTISANAL GOLD MINING

As of late, investment into Colombia s gold industry has flourished. In addition to industrial level investment that is conducted in accordance to local and international standards, an interest in small artisanal mines has arisen from foreign investors and non-profit organisations like Ethical-Stones. Most of these mines are currently operated by local communities with dated mining practices that use mercury to recover gold, which present a negative impact on the environment (Colombia will prohibit the use of mercury in the extraction of minerals by 2023). Artisanal miners rarely have the means to obtain a mining license or to self-sufficiently invest in innovative methods and technology and are continuously under pressure from armed groups and regulatory pressure from the national government.
Despite these constraints, at present, Colombia has certified 5 artisanal mines that produce Ethical Gold, which is procured by international jewellery houses, refineries, jewellers and mints, in 22 countries.
Ethical-Stones plays a prevalent role in modernising artisanal gold mines in the Bolivar and Santander Provinces and is working in collusion with these mines, local authorities, exploration companies, mining equipment providers, multi-lateral development agencies and foreign investors, in order to transform the landscape of artisanal gold mining in Colombia

PROJECT IMPACT

In order to bring gold and emeralds to the market compliantly taking into account the environment and ethical practice, Ethical-stones participates in various local projects, creating cooperatives, originating investment, modernising mining processes and facilitating global distribution. In Colombia, our work has consisted of :
  • Implementing traceability standards and data
  • Applying of ethical methods to treat gemstones.
  • Initiating Mercury-free techniques in artisanal gold mining: Gravity and Magnetic Concentration Methods
  • Providing innovative methods for exploration: Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Trace Element Analysis
  • Enhancing working conditions and promoting women in the workplace
  • Promoting the region for Foreign Investment via events and our newsletter
  • Providing access to Global Distribution Channels and Ethical Branding Services
  • Working in collusion with local government in order to make our process meet law
  • Investing in infrastructure and alternative activities in mining regions for post-exhaustion of resources
  • Fundraising and direct Investment via our partner the Eurasia Industries


Our projects :