The gold mining organisation Cooperativa Minera Estrella de Oro

Peru is one of the most important gold producing countries in the world. Besides the large international mining companies, there are many smaller mines that represent the majority of the gold mining workforce. One of them is the Minera Estrella de Oro cooperative in Ananea in the Puno region of southern Peru. It is one of the ten cooperatives that together form the umbrella organisation CECOMSAP - Central de Cooperativas Mineras San Antonio de Poto.


Country: Peru

Fairtrade certified in: 2015

Main products: Gold and precious metals

Projects using Fairtrade Premium

Organisation and productivity:

  • Improvement of the gold processing plant to more efficiently recover the mercury used in gold extraction.
  • Furnishing of the cooperative office
  • Improvement of the pouring trough

Workers and working conditions:

  • Construction of a warehouse with sleeping quarters, kitchen, toilets and pantries for workers
  • Purchase of radios for easier communication between workers
  • Construction of training facilities, break rooms and accommodation for miners.


  • Further training of cooperative members on Fairtrade standards and cooperative governance
  • Purchase and installation of gravimetric tables to eliminate the use of mercury in gold extraction.
  • Purchase of tankers for continuous irrigation of roads to prevent environmental dust pollution.

Social projects:

  • Purchase of furniture and blankets for community residents.
  • Christmas gift baskets for the staff of the cooperative and toys for children
  • Buying Christmas gifts for the miners and needy community members around the mine to bring joy and support.

About the cooperative

The people of Ananea have traditionally lived from alpaca breeding and wool production. Although this work is an important part of their identity, it did not offer these people enough economic prospects. Therefore, the inhabitants of Ananea found an alternative activity in gold mining to overcome their poverty.

The beginning of the operations of the Cooperativa Minera Estrella de Oro de Ananea was characterised by informality and the absence of any heavy machinery. Thanks to growing income and with the support of their umbrella organisation CECOMSAP, the miners were able to overcome the process of formalisation. CECOMSAP also organises exports.