Since the start of its mining operations in 2016, AM Resources has established a system of social, environmental and legal support for communities in the municipality of Patia, in the Colombian department of Cauca.
AM’s zone of influence encompasses various communities made up of ancestral and indigenous groups. Patia’s communal groups have formed “Juntas Communitarias”, or community committees, which are present in different territories of Patia, namely Limoncito, Bella Vista, Navarro Tambo, El Hoyo and Piedra Sentada.
Most of these communal groups have been engaged in artisanal mining for years and depend on mining as their main source of income to support their families and communal needs. In the area of El Hoyo alone, there are about 1,800 families who live on scarce resources. Infrastructure, schools and roads are some key areas that need improvement.
AM Resources is committed to helping the communities in the areas where it operates. By doing so, it will help future generations flourish by providing a healthier environment, better schools and a safer workplace. AM has chosen to help the local communities through the following initiatives:
Road maintenance: AM provides the materials needed to maintain the communities’ roads. For example, the community of El Hoyo holds a monthly “Minga”, an indigenous tradition of cooperative and voluntary work for the common good, to which we contribute by sending material on trucks to preserve the roads.
Education: One of the most profound impact we can have on a community starts with education. Currently, there are three different schools in our zone of influence, at El Hoyo, Bella Vista and Navarro, each of which has an average of 55 students. AM is focusing its resources on creating projects that will enable the schools to have a cleaner environment, uniforms for the students and special courses to enable teachers to improve their curriculum and teaching level. We also recently purchased and installed a water bio-filtration system to maintain safe, clean drinking water in the schools.
Community: AM has purchased and installed sustainable stoves in the communal homes. At the moment, wood is the main source of heat for domestic activities such as cooking and home heating. This has negative consequences, such as deforestation and airborne pollution, which affects the health of the inhabitants. With the help of Corporation Ceiba, we found an alternative system that provides a more efficient, environmentally friendly heating system for these homes.
Workplace: AM has focused its attention in helping transform mining methods in an area that has suffered from the lack of mine safety protocols. We have tackled the issue by making sure our miners attend certification training with institutions such as the “Agencia Nacional de Mineria”. In early 2018, AM received the support of the mayor of El Tambo, Cauca, which resulted in the creation of “El Comite Minero Gestor de Tambo Cauca”, which holds courses for title holders and miners. The committee will provide support, training and knowledge on all the standards, expectations and responsibilities the mining sector must meet.