The gold mining organisation Cooperativa Minera Santiago 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 labour force in gold mining. One of them is the Minera Santiago de Ananea cooperative 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: 2017

Main products: Gold and precious metals

Projects using Fairtrade Premium

Organisation and productivity:

  • Construction of a melting oven and improvement of the infrastructure for gold processing.

Workers and working conditions:

  • Purchase of protective clothing for the workers
  • Renovation of the cooperative's kitchen and warehouses, improvement of kitchen equipment
  • Mobile toilets and washbasins for the workers
  • Further training of cooperative members and workers on occupational health and safety, money laundering, cooperative management


  • Installation of a sludge pumping system to reduce pollution from exhaust fumes and lubricants.
  • Cleaning and maintenance of sedimentation and water clarification tanks to improve water quality
  • Maintenance and cleaning of sedimentation ponds of water used in the gold panning process to prevent water contamination by suspended solids and dam breaks.
  • Purchase and installation of gravimetric tables to eliminate the use of mercury with the aim of producing mercury-free gold.

Social projects:

  • Donations of waste containers to local community centres.
  • Donation of toys to children
  • Christmas gift baskets with food for employees
  • Donations of blackboards and hygiene items to local schools
  • Participation of workers in sporting activities such as a football tournament

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 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 Santiago 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 manage the process of formalisation. CECOMSAP also organises exports.