The Royal Norwegian Mint has collaborated with Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), creators of Fairmined Certification, to mint the Fairmined-certified gold medal for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize.
This year the prize will be presented on 10 December to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, which saved the country on the brink of civil war.
Fairmined is an assurance label that certifies gold from empowered responsible artisanal and small-scale mining organisations.
The prize features the head of Alfred Nobel and was finished at the Royal Norwegian Mint in Kongsberg, Norway.
The gold used comes from the Fairmined-certified Iquira Cooperative in Colombia, and has been supplied to the Mint by Fairmined refiner S&P Trading – Gold by Gold.
After securing Fairmined Certification in 2014, the cooperative has been exporting its gold to international markets receiving a fair price.
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Luis Alfredo Gonzales from Iquira Cooperative said: "This is a huge international acknowledgement that allows us show the world that responsible mining is possible."
Royal Norwegian Mint parent company Samlerhuset CEO Ole Bjorn Fausa said: "This initiative with Fairmined is not only about the Peace Prize medal or our own business.
"It is about increasing the focus on these issues within the whole coin industry, so that more companies start using gold from certified small-scale mines."
According to report, around 90% world’s gold miners work in artisanal and small-scale mines in difficult working conditions.
They use simple tools and mercury to extract gold, which could be fatal for workers and harmful for the environment if not done properly.
ARM is supporting miners in reaching Fairmined Certification to transform artisanal and small-scale mining into a social and environmentally responsible activity.
The miners are required to meet strict requirements for responsible practices in order to deliver social development and ensure environmental protection and will be certified as Fairmined.
Jewellery industry has already come a long way in supporting responsible supply chain in gold, unlike the coin industry.
Kenneth Porter from Alliance for Responsible Mining said: "Having the Nobel Peace Prize made in Fairmined gold is an important achievement for the miners as it shows that their dedication to responsible mining is recognised internationally.
"It also shows the world that you can get traceable gold from artisanal and small-scale mining and make a positive impact in the communities."
Image: The Nobel Peace Prize featuring the head of Alfred Nobel was struck at the Royal Norwegian Mint. Photo: courtesy of ©Erik Five Gunnerud.