All actors in the supply chain have responsibility for ensuring that gold has been responsibly mined and responsibly sourced. Gold mining should contribute to the development of producer countries and to local communities and to the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The World Gold Council and the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), which accredits the world’s leading gold refiners, are committed to working closely to ensure that gold users can have confidence in the environmental, social and governance standards observed in producing their gold. This confidence helps to underpin the efficient working of the gold market and attracts more investors to hold gold. The LBMA and WGC developed their ESG frameworks, the Responsible Gold Guidance v.8 and the RGMPs respectively, in close consultation and their ESG provisions are closely aligned.
In a statement shortly after the launch of the RGMPs, the LBMA urged that ‘Good Delivery List refiners, as well as providers of finance and capital, are encouraged to use their best endeavours to encourage the adoption of this framework at gold mining operations where they have influence.’ More recently, speaking at the Mining Indaba, the LBMA’s General Counsel, Sakhila Mirza, commented: ‘What these mining principles do is to help miners and refiners to communicate better so as to work together and collaborate more in helping to address some of these risks.’
Both organisations are also committed to facilitating access to mainstream gold markets for responsible artisanal and small-scale operators. They recognise the danger that the requirements set out in the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for the Responsible Sourcing of Metals and the Supplement on Gold, may be so onerous in their effect as to marginalise legitimate ASM operatives, thereby increasing poverty and diverting gold in to illicit channels. Thus, Principle 3.3.of the RGMPs requires that large scale miners ‘support access to legitimate markets for those artisanal and small-scale miners who respect applicable legal and regulatory frameworks, who seek to address the environmental, health, human rights and safety challenges often associated with ASM activity, and who in good faith, seek formalisation.’