In the Peruvian Amazon, Pure Earth is working to train artisanal miners in mercury-free techniques and in reforestation to restore areas of the rainforest damaged by mining. We’re doing all this with the help of a key partner–the jewelry industry, with the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) leading the way.
Representing over 1600 companies across the global watch and jewelry supply chain, the RJC is enhancing trust in the industry by helping Pure Earth lay the groundwork for an industry transformation–an industry in which gold is mined in a way that does not pollute the environment and the food supply, that protects the health of all communities, and support miners’ livelihoods.
As Pure Earth founder Richard Fuller explains: “For the past 20 years, Pure Earth has worked to reduce the global mercury threat by training miners worldwide to go mercury-free, but our efforts can only scale up and be sustainable if responsible jewelers step in to help support, raise awareness and create demand for mercury-free gold mining. This will encourage more miners to change the way they mine, and fuel the transformation of both the gold mining and the jewelry industry.”
The RJC is doing its part by raising awareness about the issue with its membership. This year, the RJC featured Pure Earth’s work in their industry newsletter and in its latest progress report “Leading Change and Building Trust.”
In addition, RCJ member Tiffany & Co. Foundation is supporting Pure Earth’s community-led reforestation project in the Peruvian Amazon and efforts to train artisanal gold miners in mercury- free mining methods.
About a quarter of the world’s gold comes from artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM), the largest source of global mercury emissions. Peru is one of the world’s largest gold producers. Currently, Pure Earth is the only organization training artisanal miners in both mercury-free gold mining techniques and reforestation in the Peruvian Amazon. Beyond Peru, Pure Earth’s Global Mercury Program works with artisanal miners in Indonesia, Mongolia, and other countries around the world.
Are you in the jewelry or watch industry?
- Learn more about Pure Earth’s Global Mercury Program
- Find out how the jewelry industry can help
- Participate in our annual Pure Earth Pure Gold Jewelry collection and auction, or Buy and Give cause marketing program.
- Partner on a Pure Earth Project
- Contact Jen Marraccino at [email protected] to learn more about ways to get involved in our projects or our newly established Jewelry Action Committee, which will work with Pure Earth to brainstorm ways to collaborate.
Learn more about the problem of gold and mercury:
See how we are helping miners “fulfill an obligation to the rainforest.”
In 2020, Peruvian jeweler Andrea Jose traveled to a small mine in the Amazon rainforest to visit Don Pedro, an artisanal gold miner Pure Earth had trained to go mercury free. There, she made the first purchase of mercury-free gold from the Peruvian Amazon for the international market. See how we are connecting jewelers to mercury-free gold miners.
Have you ever wondered why your gold comes from? Pure Earth is working with the jewelry industry to test a potential mine to market healthy gold solution. Watch now.