The gold mining organisation Limata in Peru

Limata Limited is an artisanal mine in the Puno region of Peru. The members are part of the indigenous community of Limata, whose traditional and historical vocation has been the breeding of alpacas and the production of alpaca wool. The miners divide their time between the two economic activities.


Country: Peru

Fairtrade certified in: 2017

Main products: Gold and precious metals

Projects using Fairtrade Premium

Organisation and productivity:

  • Solar-powered hot water modules
  • Installation of lightning conductors
  • Logistical services and support for the direct export of gold
  • Investments in production facilities such as compressors, ramps, windbreaks and improvement of the maintenance area

Workers and working conditions:

  • Purchase of personal protective equipment
  • Construction and improvement of worker accommodation
  • Provision of Covid 19 tests
  • Training for miners
  • Pandemic prevention equipment such as masks, gloves, disinfectants and cleaning materials


  • Mine closure and renaturation: careful rehabilitation will allow the community to use the landscape for alpaca breeding again.

Social projects:

  • Christmas presents for school children
  • Supporting schools

Every day, work for 25 people begins early in the cold morning at 4660 m altitude. For many legal and illegal miners, gold mining is the main source of income. Limata's core policy is legal, formal and ethical extraction. The cooperative strives to be a leader in this field by complying with the law, implementing best production practices and exporting directly. In the Ananea area, they were the first organisation to receive the "inicio-reinicio", the legal requirement to be recognised as a legal and formal miners' organisation. The miners work under strict health and safety measures, reducing risks at work. Likewise, they have an environmental plan to optimise the use of water and minimise the impact of mining activities on the environment.

One objective is to reduce the use of mercury by introducing new, appropriate technologies. In mid-2017, Limata made the decision to become Fairtrade ASMO certified.

At CECOVASA, one of the largest Fairtrade certified coffee cooperatives in the region, they observed the impact of premium money for coffee producers. They learned about Fairtrade's empowerment and development goals and achieved their goal of becoming the first Fairtrade certified mining organisation in the region. After certification, the goal was to gain direct access to the international market. Before achieving Fairtrade certification, they did not export directly and did not have direct contacts with players in the gold supply chain such as refineries, international banks and jewellers. It was an important step in the economic empowerment of the Limata leadership to meet their potential business partners in Switzerland in person and to become aware of the mutual obligations and dependencies along the supply chain up to the final products. The Limata community is committed to staying true to its roots, creating work for community members and providing a future for the next generation. Limata miners trust that Fairtrade certification is not only a means of differentiation, but also a mechanism to improve their livelihoods. Limata now exports directly, but economic and organisational strengthening must come through information, visibility and capacity building. The Fairtrade premium money will bring the financial support to ensure sustainability and competitiveness and to create the tools the miners need to change their lives and realise their dreams.