Conflict-free gold mining

In recent years there has been concern about potential links between gold and unlawful armed conflict, such as civil wars and militia activity. Although the proportion of newly-mined gold that is tainted by the involvement in conflict is very low, responsible mining should put processes in place to make sure that neither they, nor the gold they produce, are contributing to the conflict. Ceasing operations entirely, however, could accentuate the crisis for communities in conflict areas by denying them legitimate livelihoods and economic opportunities.

Conflict-Free Gold Standard

Developed by the World Gold Council and based upon internationally-recognised benchmarks, the Conflict-Free Gold Standard helps companies to provide assurance that their gold is not contributing to conflict. The Standard helps to “operationalise” the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains for Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.

Representatives from international NGOs, refiners, industry groups and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) all describe the Standard as a major step forward in providing trust and transparency in the gold supply chain. Their commentary is captured within a short video, which highlights the progress made since its inception and how responsible mining can positively influence socio-economic development and consumer confidence in the global trade:

Download the Standard and supporting guidance materials for both implementing companies and the practitioners engaged to report on their compliance. They were developed through an intensive consultation process involving governments, civil society and supply chain participants.

 

Consultation

The Conflict-Free Gold Standard was developed through an intensive consultation process involving governments, civil society and supply chain participants. Work on the development of the Standard started in early 2010.

Eight roundtables were held across Europe, Africa, North and South America and Australia, involving the participation of over 100 individuals and organisations including governments, leading NGOs, supply chain participants and experts. Notes from the formal consultative roundtable meetings to discuss working drafts of the Standard can be viewed here:

In addition, the World Gold Council hosted a roundtable for assurance providers to discuss the Guidance for Assurance Providers:

The World Gold Council is grateful to all those who have shared their views with us in writing, in meetings or at roundtables.