b'LSM VS. ASM No matter where a large-scale miner is operating, informal mining is likely going on there as well, says Gabbi Harvey, whos in charge of business develop-ment for Muzo Emerald. This is the case even when mining in an area like Colombias Muzo region, where operations have been underway for centuries. The mineral-rich area of Boyac has seen plenty of violence associated with the fight for its emeralds; these disputes were referred to as the green wars at their most violent in the 1970s and 1980s. Rough Mozambican rubies mined by Fura GemsLow levels of economic development, a lack of pub-lic and social services, high unemployment rates and poverty levels, and a vast informal labor market are still very much a partMoving into Mozambique was different for Fura because there of the regions story.were no major settlements in its licenses, Shetty says, but it included For its corporate social responsibility strategy, Muzo Emeraldfour villages in its local CSR program.focuses not only on the mine but on the town of Muzo, with a planAt Gemfields Montepuez mining site, one out of the seven villag-designed to engage all actors in the area.es in the Montepuez Ruby Mining concession area was relocated; the The company behind the mining operations created a strategy inothers remain where they were when it started operating there. 2014 that included establishing schools, a cocoa agroforestry systemFor the one that was resettled, Montepuez Ruby Mining spent $10 and agricultural association, higher education scholarships, and more.million on the construction of a new village to re-house Nthoro families. In 2019, it launched The Muzo Foundation, operating under threeThe new village and its associated farmlands cover an area of nearly tenents of education, food security and productive projects, and6,000 acres105 homes with water and electricity, a primary school, institutional strengthening and leadership. market, church, mosque, police station, cemetery, and landfill site.Fura and Gemfields follow similar strate- The process took years and also resulted gies, believing that the best way to oper- in quite a few news stories and reports ques-ateboth for a mines longevity and from aEvery company thattioning whether or not human rights were social responsibility perspectiveis to notseeks to set up a businesstaken into account along the way. only hire locals at their operations but to gooperation somewhere,Gilbertson responds to criticisms of the beyond employment to bridge the gap withvillage resettlement by noting that legally, the community.especially in areas occupiedno company can engage in involuntary reset-You have to take the community alongby people, has an obligationtlement. The only way to resettle locals, ac-with you, right from day one, Fura CEOunder human rights law .cording to the International Finance Corp.s Dev Shetty says. Performance Standard 5, is with free, prior, Fura employs mostly local citizens at itsto ensure that human rightsand informed consent. operations, an important part of which isare protected.Thats not a joke to get, by the way. Its training and education. David Matsinhe,a serious process, Gilbertson says. It takes Since many of them are more familiarextensive consultation, both with the admin-with artisanal mining, they need a change ofAmnesty Internationalistrative people, the local communities, the mindset to understand mining on a large- villages themselves, government authorities, scale basis, Shetty says.and you also need district approval and na-Whats more, miners have to align the communitys needs withtional-level approval to get that done. And we did all of that in respect their goals, making sure to set reasonable ones and managing expec- toNthoro. tations about how long certain projects could take.As for the lawsuit that came out of its Mozambiquan operations, At its Coscuez mine in Boyac, Colombia, people were alreadyGilbertson says this: Ive been involved since day one with Gem-mining for emeralds in the tunnels when Fura Gems took ownershipfields. Weve had no allegations of this nature in Zambia. But all of a of the mine. sudden, we had these allegations in relation to the development of As it took over operations in the area, it had to cease all miningthe mine in Mozambique. Theres obviously a disparity there. except its own, but Shetty says the local communitys understandingIf we were, as people like to see, some evil enterprise that just behaves of the transition and processes made it easier for Fura.appallingly, why is it that these allegations didnt come about in Zambia?For months, Fura worked on baseline studies to understand theThe miners conflicts in Mozambique stem from the clash be-local area, and offered detailed presentations for and Q&A sessionstween its operations and those who used to be working in the area, with locals to explain operations and address concerns. whether Mozambican or international miners who relocated to Fura was eventually able to hire those previous miners as mineMontepuez. And its an issue thats been there from the start. employees.Gilbertson says Gemfields ruby mine in Mozambique has NATIONAL JEWELER 59'