The mines of Muzo comprise five underground galleries. Four of these are vertical mines: Tequendama, Catedral and Volvere, which descend more than 300 feet, and the oldest gallery, Puerto Arturo, reaches 500 feet underground. The fifth gallery, La Rampa, unlike the others is spiral bored to 1,300 feet underground. Muzo is at the vanguard of ethical, responsible and sustainable mining operations. The company is deeply committed to safely and sustainably sourcing these emerald treasures in cooperation with the local communities and families within Colombia.
Through extensive reforestation, hydroseeding and erosion control programs, the Muzo Companies are at the forefront of environmental protection through ethical mining practices. In areas of mining detritus, their automated planting system helps stabilize the soil and restore the beauty of the environment. An estimated 35,000 square meters have been replanted thus far. Additionally, since the quality of the crystal cannot be compromised, the use of aggressive mining with dynamite is strictly prohibited.
Muzo’s corporate social responsibility programs extend to the whole Boyacá region, beyond the perimeter of the mines. The modernization of mining practices has improved living conditions for thousands of local residents, including retired miners, women, children and disabled civilians who benefit from access to a community canteen and free health clinics.
In addition to these activities, the company works with local schools and health services to operate a large community dining center for elderly and those in need. Up to three hundred meals a day are given to local residents. They contribute with a large garden which they tend themselves.
We have integrated the supply chain from the top down. Muzo has control over the entire supply chain from extraction through faceting, all the way down to distribution of our emerald collections.
To enter the mine, the men descend hundreds of meters below the surface before winding their way through a maze of decks and tunnels. The miners use air hammers and hand tools to chisel into the walls of black schist in pursuit of the famous white vein of calcite –the clue that an emerald is close. They carefully detach the precious stone from the mother rock by end. The extraction process is tracked by CCTV surveillance and security personnel in order to safeguard the quality and traceability of the crystal.