Before and After
Formalization and technification
Artisanal exploration methods represented a great risk to the life and integrity of the miners. In the same way, it limited the process of extracting sterile material and access of heavy machinery, which has a great importance for the deepening on the production fronts.
The JD Ramp is a tunnel of more than 1 kilometer deep that interconnects the galleries at all levels, making underground explorations safer places for our workers.
Before our arrival, investment in mining and social projects was non-existent. This lack of capital limited the implementation of new technologies that, in addition to guaranteeing a safer environment for workers, represented a significant increase in production.
We have invested more than USD $150 million in the modernization of the mine,
acquiring state-of-the-art machinery that facilitates drilling towards the production fronts and makes of this mining an environmentally responsible exploration.
The informality of the sector represented an imminent risk for the health and integrity of the workers, as well as for the environment of the region.
We adapt strict industrial safety measures based on compliance with international standards in the mining sector.
The State absence in which the emerald mining was carried out in the country, allowed informal practices to use controversial mechanisms of stone extraction, as well as get control over the mines.
The formalization and technification of mining have made possible to comply with the most demanding industrial safety regulations that guarantee physical well-being, health and the reduction of accident rates. We have been the leaders in the modernization of underground emerald mining exploration in the country.
Legality and transparency
For decades, emerald mining was the victim of illegal initiatives that restricted economic and social progress in the area. These practices led the main emerald-producing municipalities to live between poverty, inequality and violence.
Legality and transparency have been a central axis since the beginning of our operations. Now we are the main employer in Western Boyacá, we pay record amounts of royalties on production and we are a role model within the Colombian extractive industry.
The absence of State controls over the mines and their productions, represented a deficit in the payment of taxes and royalties that would benefit the communities surrounding.
All the stones extracted in our mine are guarded under rigorous security procedures that guarantee that all the gems are reported to the National Mining Agency (ANM in Spanish).
These years of informal domain in the emerald mines gathered the wealth of the municipalities on certain people. This promoted unemployment, inequality, violence and poverty in general for all the municipalities of emerald production.
By ensuring that the extracted emeralds are reported to the mining authorities of the country, we guarantee the payment of royalties on our production, which translates into greater benefits for the region and its inhabitants.
The environmental effects caused by artisanal mining seemed irreversible, open pit excavations and contamination of water bodies reached deplorable levels.
Now, we not only have managed to modernize and technify operations of emeralds extraction, we have also managed to recover the vegetal layer of the tropical jungle area of Western Boyaca, protecting the animal species that live here. Currently, the emerald mining of Muzo is a really green mining.
The lack of investment in the extractive industry of the region, limited access to modern and effective extraction practices, as well as sustainable environmental protection projects that ensured minimal impact on excavation and waste disposal.
Proper disposal of waste has allowed us to reduce the environmental impact that, as a minor intrusive mining, represents a very low level of ecosystem damage. We have established standards and policies for environmental protection in all our operations.
The water bodies near the mining explorations were significantly affected by the execution of artisanal mining. The loads of sterile material were washed into the ravines and slopes of the rivers, which increased the levels of contamination.
Currently, we have water treatment plants and the landscape of water sources shows noticeable improvements which, therefore, has allowed the restoration of the ecosystem with all its flora and fauna.
Artisanal mining was performed in an open pit and the implementation of bulldozers that scratched the vegetation layer to expose the stones was a common practice. They razed the vegetal layer to expose the stones.
Now, we have reforested the vegetation of the mine and we have returned the characteristics of the tropical jungle zone to the mining municipalities of Western Boyaca.