SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Brilliant Earth Group, Inc. (“Brilliant Earth” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: BRLT), an innovative, digital-first jewelry company and global leader in ethically sourced fine jewelry, today announced a transformative project underway called Green Mining, which aims to create a certified Fairmined Ecological Gold Supply Chain, from the Peruvian Amazon, one of the largest sources of gold production in the world. The Green Mining project was developed by international non-profit Pure Earth and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), to help miners restore rainforest that has been decimated by mercury pollution. These models are the first in the Amazon.
Mercury is traditionally used in the process of gold mining, which is the leading cause of global mercury emissions. Mercury can linger in the environment for centuries, causing deforestation and pollution in the Madre de Dios region of the Peruvian rainforest, health issues for local communities and children, seafood contamination, and climate change. While many corporations are aware of these issues, few have contributed to changing the way gold is obtained. Brilliant Earth, Pure Earth and ARM are working together to create an alternative, mercury-free mining solution and to transform the supply chain.
“We started Brilliant Earth to create transparency and change in a jewelry industry that has been slow to evolve,” said Beth Gerstein, Co-Founder & CEO of Brilliant Earth. “Harmful supply chain practices are typically used to mine gold, but little has been done to create impactful solutions to help those involved in it, with the focus on keeping costs lower. As a leader of ethical practices and a proud Fairmined certified brand, we hope to pave the way for industry transformation through Green Mining and invite others to do the same.”
The initiative, which is underway, trains and transitions miners to use mercury-free techniques, helping miners to rehabilitate land damaged from mining through reforestation, and guide them through the process of becoming Fairmined certified and producing Fairmined Ecological Gold. The Fairmined Standard ensures miners are selling gold that is certified to have been extracted without chemicals.
“We believe the jewelry industry holds the key to solving this problem,” said Richard Fuller, President of Pure Earth. “For the past 20 years, Pure Earth has worked to reduce the global mercury threat by training miners worldwide to go mercury-free, but our efforts can only scale up and be sustainable if responsible jewelers such as Brilliant Earth step in to help support, raise awareness and create demand for mercury-free gold mining. This will encourage more miners to change the way they mine and fuel the transformation of both the gold mining and the jewelry industry.”
Progress in the Works
More than 50 miners of the Association of Artisanal Miners Tauro Fátima (AMATAF), located in Madre de Dios, are part of the Green Mining initiative, learning best practices to fulfill the strict requirements of the Fairmined Standard created by the ARM. Once Fairmined certified through the initiative, the miners will be able to sell their gold to international markets, creating the first supply chain of mercury-free gold from the Peruvian Amazon.
"Madre de Dios is one of the most convulsed regions in Latin America in terms of conflicts and environmental pollution due to mining with mercury,” said Victor Pachas, Regional Manager for Peru and Bolivia of the Alliance for Responsible Mining. “These miners associated with AMATAF are aiming for Fairmined certification and are demonstrating that a formal and traceable path for gold can be conceived in the heart of the Amazon. ”
The Green Mining project in Madre de Dios builds on four years of Brilliant Earth’s work with Pure Earth, and is being funded in part through the Brilliant Earth Foundation’s $300,000 grant. The grant enables Pure Earth and ARM to continue work with AMATAF, an ASGM mining association. The goal is to create the first supply chain of mercury-free gold from the Peruvian Amazon.
Victoria Del Rico, Director of Communications, Brilliant Earth
Mag Sim, Director, Communications, Pure Earth
ABOUT BRILLIANT EARTH
Brilliant Earth is a digitally native, omnichannel fine jewelry company and a global leader in ethically sourced fine jewelry. Led by our co-founders Beth Gerstein and Eric Grossberg, the Company’s mission since its founding in 2005 has been to create a more transparent, sustainable, and compassionate jewelry industry. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA and Denver, CO, Brilliant Earth has 22 showrooms and has served customers in over 50 countries worldwide.
ABOUT PURE EARTH
Pure Earth is a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and improving lives and protecting the planet by reducing disease-causing pollution and cleaning up toxic hot spots in low- and middle-income countries. Since its inception in 1999, Pure Earth and its field teams have completed more than 120 projects in 27 countries using best-in-class science, analytics, and engineering practices to identify toxic hot spots and teach communities how to improve soil, water, and air quality with pragmatic, cost-effective solutions. Pollution is the largest environmental cause of death and disease in the world, stealing 9 million lives each year, and disabling hundreds of millions of children. Pure Earth prioritizes actions that protect the developing brains and bodies of children and pregnant women living in toxic hot spots with a specific emphasis on lead and mercury exposure. Partnering with governments, communities, and industry leaders, Pure Earth aims to elevate pollution as a global priority, create sustainable change, and support a healthier future.