Geneva, Switzerland – Earthworm Foundation and PX Precinox SA have announced a new partnership in the artisanal and small-scale mining gold sector, with the aim of implementing and inspiring changes in the sector.
With a commitment to creating value for artisanal and small-scale miners and their communities, Earthworm and PX Precinox SA will accelerate their work to build direct and transparent business models with a principle of partnership in the supply chain: from the miners, processing plants, PX Group and ultimately to PX’s customers.
“For over 20 years, we have been working with the private sector, public institutions and civil society to transform supply chains across a wide range of forest products and agricultural commodities,” said Bastien Sachet, CEO at Earthworm Foundation. “We look forward to leveraging this experience in our partnership with PX Precinox SA, with the end goal of transparent and responsible supply chains in the gold sector, that benefit people and nature from the miner to the consumer."
Both gold and agricultural supply chains have traditionally been engines of our economy and society. But they are also susceptible to environmental and social issues; with many overlapping challenges such as operational health and safety and human rights.
“For over six years, we have been implementing Artisanal and Small-scale Miners (ASM) supply chain solutions for our clients,” said Philippe Chave, Co-CEO of the PX Group. “We believe deeply in working in partnership with artisanal and small-scale miners and processing plants in our supply chain – ensuring transparency and zero mercury processing. At the same time, we realise that more has to be done to improve the conditions of artisanal and small-scale miners across our supply chain and the globe – this being the main reason behind our new partnership with Earthworm.”
In practice, creating value for artisanal and small-scale miners and their communities will involve the implementation of the PX Impact Programme. To date, Earthworm has supported PX Precinox in updating its responsible sourcing policy, as well as conducting a first assessment visit to a strategic supplier in Peru. The purpose of the visit was to understand the operations of the processing plant, the artisanal and small-scale miners in the supply chain, and the relation between these actors. Key next steps from the visit include strengthening traceability processes and tools, as well as deploying a programme to improve social and environmental practices in the artisanal and small-scale miners portion of the supply chain.
“We realise that there are systemic environmental and social issues in the artisanal and small-scale miners sector – from mercury contamination, and operational health and safety conditions to violations in indigenous peoples’ and labour rights," said Renzo Verne, Swiss Country Head at Earthworm Foundation. "At the same time, we believe that change is possible and can only become a reality through partnerships – with actors across supply chains, government and local civil society – based on transparency and a willingness to acknowledge and co-create solutions. We’re excited to be launching this partnership and look forward to sharing progress on our journey.”
About Earthworm Foundation
Earthworm Foundation is a global non-profit that transforms supply chains by partnering and innovating with the private sector, government, community and civil society organisations to create solutions to environmental and social challenges. For more information, contact Renzo Verne (email@example.com)
About PX Precinox
PX Precinox SA is a gold and precious metals refiner based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Its customers include watch and jewellery manufacturers, industrial actors and the medical sector. For more information, contact Christophe Nicolet (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit their website.