RAPAPORT… The World Gold Council (WGC) published its Conflict-Free Gold Standard to combat the potential misuse of mined gold to fund armed conflict.
WGC stressed that the standard is an industry-led initiative developed by its member companies, comprised of the world’s leading gold producers and with extensive input from governments, civil society and supply chain participants.
The group explained that the standard aims to promote responsible mining practices throughout the gold mining industry and is available for use by any party involved in the extraction of gold.
Responsible gold mining can play an important role in contributing to sustainable development and alleviate poverty in many of the world’s developing countries, according to WGC. The direct and indirect economic contribution of professional gold mining creates new possibilities for these nations, their communities and individuals, too, however, when there is armed conflict, even the best managed operation will need to ensure that both the gold it produces and its broader activities do not contribute to the conflict, the group stated.
WGC noted that if a company can demonstrate that it is operating in a conflict- or high-risk area and is not supporting unlawful armed conflict, it should be encouraged to continue its operations. Furthermore, the closure or suspension of a major source of employment and government revenue may increase the crisis, WGC added.
WGC expects that gold produced to these standards will provide confidence that it has been extracted in a manner that does not contribute to human rights abuses or breaches of international humanitarian law. Conformance to the standard will be subject to external assurance, the group noted.
Links to the WGC Conflict-Free Gold Standard can be found here.