New jewelry collection commits proceeds to Pact for Nigerian artisanal miners

May 26, 2022

NYINI Luxury, a leading brand management company focused on supporting women and minority-owned businesses, has joined forces with Lotanna Amina Okpukpara, founder of Mina Stones, to launch a new jewelry collection with a portion of the proceeds going to Pact. Once sales of the Arewa Medallion Collection hit $20,000, 20 percent of proceeds will go toward training artisanal and small-scale miners in Nigeria.

Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) is a largely informal economic sector that includes workers who use their hands, basic tools such as picks and shovels and low-tech equipment such as bulldozers and more mechanized equipment to extract from the earth not only gemstones, but vital metals, gold, diamonds, coal and more. In Nigeria, more than 400,000 people work in ASM where occupational health and safety hazards are common due to the largely informal nature of the sector in Nigeria.

Through the Collection’s proceeds and in partnership with the AGJES Sparkle Foundation, an arm of the African Gemstones and Jewelry Exhibition and Seminar, men and women gold and beryl gemstone miners in Nasarawa State will receive safety and security trainings, business and entrepreneurial skills workshops, and basic tools for mining such as lights, boots and helmets.

“The Arewa symbol refers to the Nigerian Northern Knot, which calls for unity among diverse peoples. These days, when there are more incentives to divide than to unite, jewelry can be a symbolic bridge between consumers, cultures and continents. What’s more beautiful than that?” says Cristina Villegas, director of mining at Pact. “Pact will use the funds to support the hardworking small-scale miners of West Africa, who work in humbling conditions.”

The AGJES Sparkle Foundation was founded on the success of the African Gemstones and Jewlery Exhibition and Seminar and is focusing on training and capacity development to quickly skill up and strengthen the sector.

The Arewa is present in many areas in the Northern regions of Nigeria. This symbol has come to represent a pact uniting diverse people from all ethnicities, religions and regions to come together as one. Inspired by the symbol, the fashion jewelry capsule is sold on