Gold and Economic Development in Mining Countries
Gold mining is a major economic driver for many countries across the world.
Well-managed, transparent and accountable resource extraction can be a major contributor to economic growth due to the creation of employment and business opportunities for local people. As well as direct and indirect jobs and employment, gold mining also brings foreign direct investment, foreign exchange and tax revenues to countries.
Often operating in remote locations, gold mining companies invest in infrastructure and utilities. In addition to supporting the needs of a gold mine, these improvements to roads, water and electricity supplies are a long-term benefit to businesses and communities across the area, that outlives the production years of a gold mine.
Responsible gold-mining companies also have ethical and commercial incentives to improve the health and education of the communities that they operate in. Many invest in social infrastructure, including schools, colleges and health centres that improve the opportunities and wellbeing of local people.
The World Gold Council has undertaken a substantial programme of research to quantify the impact of gold mining on socio-economic development. The findings provide insights into the size and nature of gold mining’s economic impact:
- Gold mining contributed $171.6 billion to the global economy in 2013. This is greater than the GDP of over 150 countries and the world’s total foreign aid budget (as reported by OECD in 2014).
- The vast majority of total expenditure by gold mining companies was made in the countries where mining took place, with 70% going to local suppliers and employees.