Crafting a Brighter Future for Mining Communities

The jewelry industry relies on raw materials, including precious metals and gemstones, that are often sourced from artisanal mining communities in developing and emerging economies. However, these miners often struggle to break free from the poverty cycle, which makes supporting their communities all the more critical. That’s why we’re so excited to forge a new partnership with The Impact Facility, a social enterprise committed to transforming mineral wealth into community prosperity.

Learn more about why supporting artisanal mining communities is so important, how BRUNA is doing its part, and what you can do to help.

Why support artisanal mining?

Artisanal gold mining contributes approximately 20% of the world's gold supply, making it an integral part of the global gold industry. It serves as a vital source of livelihood for an estimated 15 million individuals and their families, especially in economically marginalized regions. Artisanal mining also plays a significant role in preserving cultural traditions, providing dignified work, and empowering women in a traditionally male-dominated field.

On the other hand, artisanal mining is known for the challenges it often faces. Mining communities often lack proper personal protective equipment and the infrastructure needed to prevent and manage health and safety hazards, such as ventilation in underground tunnels or proper drainage systems to prevent flooding when it rains.

Another key concern is the use of mercury and other toxic chemicals in mining operations, which can lead to severe health risks as well as water pollution and ecosystem degradation. Finally, issues like child labor and lack of fair compensation are prevalent in many artisanal mining communities.

In the face of these severe challenges, we see a great and important opportunity to support artisanal mining by fostering responsible practices that help reduce its negative impacts and enhance its positive ones.

OUR RESPONSIBILITY

Ever since the brand was established, our vision at BRUNA has been to create jewelry with a positive impact on our ecosystems.

Learn more

How is BRUNA contributing to responsible artisanal mining practices?

In 2023, BRUNA launched an exciting new partnership with The Impact Facility and donated $17,500 to the following impactful projects with The Impact Facility:

1. Helping a Female-Led Mine Site Go "Chemical-Free"

Chemicals such as mercury are often used to separate gold from waste rock. When mercury is introduced to gold-bearing ore or sediment, it forms an amalgam by chemically bonding with the gold particles, thus separating them from other elements. Mercury can be harmful both for the workers who come into contact with it—especially pregnant women and their babies—as well as for the environment.

However, it’s possible for mine sites to eliminate the use of mercury through a combination of technical insights and new technologies. With a $10,000 contribution, BRUNA is contributing to the introduction of low-tech, easy to use equipment at a female-run mine operation in Osiri Matanda, a large mining community in Western Kenya, to demonstrate the feasibility of alternative mercury-free processing techniques to the community and encourage a move away from harmful chemicals.

The expected outcome of this donation includes: 

  • A reduction in mercury use within the target operator’s site by around 5kg per year, representing $8,000 in annual savings in environmental damages.
  • A longer-term “basic practice” example for other mining pits to learn from, representing potential additional mercury savings of 50–100kg per year depending on the uptake of new approaches from neighboring processing sites.

2. Supporting the Next Generation of Women Mining Engineers in Kenya

With a donation of $7,500, we're sponsoring an internship position for a female mining engineer and graduate of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology to join The Impact Facility’s team of artisanal mining experts and engineers. Through mentoring, this young professional will become an expert in using diagnostic tools to identify investment needs and areas for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) improvements in partner mine sites. This support will enhance the skills and long-term career prospects of local female mining professionals and enable mining communities supported by The Impact Facility to receive comprehensive technical support.

The expected outcome of this donation includes:

  • Enhancing the skills of a woman mining engineer and raising her long-term career prospects as a mining professional.
  • Enabling TIF to reach 15 additional mine sites and contract those sites for new equipment, thereby benefiting around 500 miners and workers.

About The Impact Facility

TIF is a UK-registered and Nairobi-based social enterprise committed to transforming mineral wealth into community prosperity. The enterprise works with artisanal and small-scale gold mining communities, helping them break the poverty cycle and improve safety, environmental impact, and economic performance through access to financing, cleaner mining technology, and global markets.

We’re partnering with The Impact Facility because of its entrepreneurial approach to artisanal mining. With its team of mine engineers and technical specialists, TIF supports local communities to improve social and environmental performance in line with international industry standards, while optimizing mine production and processes to help turn artisanal mining into a healthy, profitable business that can lift communities out of poverty.

“Artisanal gold mining presents the largest demand for mercury in the world. The long-term effects of mercury use do little to dissuade the community from using it—that’s why BRUNA’s support is so crucial. It presents an opportunity to demonstrate alternative and innovative gold processing technologies to the Osiri Matanda community in my home country, Kenya. If successful, we hope to scale up to many sites across the community.”

- Candice Jumwa, The Impact Facility

What can I do to support artisanal mining communities?

  • Choose Responsibly: When buying gold jewelry, choose pieces made from responsibly sourced gold. This supports miners who adhere to ethical and sustainable practices.
  • Raise Awareness: Speak about the importance of responsible artisanal mining with your friends and family. The more awareness is raised, the more support responsible miners receive.
  • Support Initiatives: Contribute to organizations that work towards improving the livelihoods of artisanal miners, promoting fair trade, and implementing cleaner and safer mining practices.

By supporting artisanal mining and advocating for responsible practices, we can ensure that the allure of gold doesn't come at the cost of the planet and its people. Join us on our mission to make a difference.

Photo credits: David Sturmes, Gustav Dahlqvist, Candice Jumwa, Cyrus Njonde, Tineke Oosterwoud | TIF & Joshua Rukundo | Solidaridad

Shop our jewelry

Amie Necklace SetAmie Necklace Set

18k Gold Vermeil

Corsica HoopsCorsica Hoops

18k Gold Vermeil

the Monterosso Necklace  |  Pre-order now for delivery by the end of May - BRUNA The LabelMonterosso Necklace

18k Gold Vermeil & Pearls

CA
14k massivgold

14k Yellow Gold

Shop now