The gold mining organisation Cooperativa Minera Metalúrgica San Francisco de Ananea

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 cooperative Minera Metalúrgica de San Francisco in Ananea in the southern Peruvian region of Puno. It is one of ten cooperatives that together form the umbrella organisation CECOMSAP - Central de Cooperativas Mineras San Antonio de Poto.


Fairtrade certified in: 2017

Main products: Gold and precious metals

Projects using Fairtrade Premium

Organisation and productivity:

  • Various investments in infrastructure;
  • Furnishing of the offices of the cooperative in Juliaca
  • Purchase of a melting oven with a fume extraction system for the production of raw gold and the export of gold dorés
  • Improvement of the accommodation for the workers at the mine

Workers and working conditions:

  • Purchase of protective clothing for the miners
  • Internships for members of the cooperative in the region of Cajamarca, where they were able to acquire new knowledge about the mining industry
  • Further training of cooperative members and workers on accounting, money laundering, roles and functions of partners and managers


  • Water treatment to improve water quality
  • Closure of old sludge settling ponds for pollution control and rehabilitation
  • Cleaning and maintenance of the sludge pits to prevent water pollution
  • Renovation and maintenance of the dosing system of the water treatment plants. The newly installed flocculation system allows for better treatment and enables the recovery of clean water.

Social projects:

  • Purchase of 248 blankets
  • Donation of computers and printers to local secondary school
  • Christmas gifts for school children

About the cooperative

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

The Cooperativa Minera Metalúrgica de San Francisco was founded in 2006 by 24 cooperative members. The mine of the cooperative is located at an altitude of 4600 to 4900m. The majority of the members live in Ananea, some also in the town of Juliaca.

The beginning of the cooperative's operations 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 began the process of formalisation, which they successfully completed in 2017. Exports are organised through CECOMSAP.