A sweet solution to social responsibility

Published on: 19 December 2017

Cordoba Minerals’ beekeeping initiative at its San Matias project gives locals a new employment opportunity

Jesus Maria Suarez looks like a typical mineral exploration project employee in his well-worn jeans and blue shirt, emblazoned with the company logo. In the mountainous jungle of northern Colombia, he is as well known to the local communities as the geologists and drillers working to delineate the high-grade copper-gold mineralization at Cordoba Minerals’ San Matias project.

But Suarez is not a mineral explorer or a driller. He is a professional beekeeper, hired by the Toronto-based mineral exploration company to teach beekeeping to the residents of San Matias, San Juan, and Alacran, three villages in the Department of Córdoba, 200 kilometres north of Medellín. Beekeeping and honey production are part of Cordoba Minerals’ extensive social program running in parallel with its advanced exploration activities.

“We never considered beekeeping until the company suggested it,” said local Everlides Pertuz (through a translator). For the last five years, Pertuz and her family have managed 10 hives set in the forest about an hour’s walk from her modest home. “Before Cordoba came, we looked for gold in the rivers and it was a very hard life. Now we use the money to buy butter and coffee.”

Read the full story: CIM Magazine