The World Gold Council has developed the Conflict-Free Gold Standard, an industry-led approach to combat the potential misuse of mined gold to fund armed conflict. The Standard has been developed with our member companies, comprising the world’s leading gold producers, and with extensive input from governments, civil society and supply chain participants. It is hoped that the Standard will promote responsible mining practices throughout the gold mining industry. It is an open standard that is available for use by any party involved in the extraction of gold.
Responsibly undertaken, gold mining can play an important role in contributing to sustainable development and alleviating poverty in many of the world’s developing countries. The direct and indirect economic contribution of professional gold mining creates new possibilities for these nations, their communities and individuals.
However, when there is armed conflict, even the best managed operation will need to take additional steps to ensure that both the gold it produces and its broader activities do not contribute to the conflict.
Where a company can demonstrate that it is operating in an area assessed to be ‘conflict-affected or high-risk; in a way that does not support or benefit unlawful armed conflict, it should be encouraged to continue its operations. Indeed, the closure or suspension of a major source of employment and government revenue may accentuate the crisis.
Gold produced in conformance with the Conflict-Free Gold Standard will provide confidence that it has been extracted in a manner that does not cause, support or benefit unlawful armed conflict or contribute to serious human rights abuses or breaches of international humanitarian law. The Standard is based upon internationally recognised benchmarks and conformance will be subject to external assurance. It has been widely recognized as credible and workable.
Conflict-Free Gold Standard
Guidance for Assurance Providers
Conformance with the Conflict-Free Gold Standard will be externally assured. The Guidance for Assurance Providers sets out guidance to practioners who have been engaged to report in, accordance with recognised assurance standards, on whether a company’s Conflict-Free Gold Report is prepared in accordance with the Standard.
Guidance for Implementing Companies
The Guidance for Implementing Companies aims to serve as a helpful reference guide to any implementing company and includes a range of tools and reference materials which companies may draw on, according to their individual needs and circumstances.
PWC Viewpoint Report
PwC have published a Viewpoint Report, in which they evaluate the World Gold Council’s approach in the context of its objective to develop an industry led standard to increase customer and investor confidence in buying gold, and in so doing to ‘operationalise’ the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance and particularly its supporting Gold Supplement.
This report, as well as an accompanying comparative study between the Conflict-Free Gold Standard and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance, represents an important contribution in the on-going dialogue about voluntary industry-led initiatives and the critical role that they can play in defining what constitutes responsible business practice. The reports can be found here.
If you would like to contact the World Gold Council regarding the Standard, please email: email@example.com