The World Gold Council supports the responsible mining and trading of gold from all legitimate sources, including Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM). Artisanal gold mining, with low levels of capital investment and mechanisation, is very different in nature to Large-scale Mining. ASM is practiced in many forms and provides livelihoods to a significant population who otherwise may not be economically active. However, Artisanal gold mining is also often poorly regulated by local authorities, either due to an absence of a regulatory framework or a lack of capacity to enforce existing frameworks.
We strongly support the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas and were closely involved in the drafting of the Supplement on Gold.
The Supplement aims to:
- Raise due diligence standards;
- Ensure that ASM producers who may find it difficult to meet these standards are not excluded from the formal market.
- If the Guidance is to be effective in meeting its objectives over the medium term, this tension needs to be addressed and the capacities of ASM producers to meet due diligence requirements raised. It should be noted that all indications are that the vast majority of ASM producers are not linked to unlawful, armed conflict.