In line with its commitment to promote formalisation of responsible artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM), the World Gold Council has released a new report which looks at models for better managing the interactions between ASGM and large-scale mining (LSM).
The World Gold Council and its members, the world’s leading large-scale gold mining companies, support the responsible mining and trading of gold from all legitimate sources including ASGM. Unfortunately, however, the great majority of artisanal and small-scale gold mining occurs outside of legal frameworks and as such the sector is a source of contention.
Although it is difficult to provide precise estimates, leading international institutions estimate that ASGM accounts for some 20% of the annual newly mined gold supply and provided direct livelihoods for some 15 to 20 million people. This report focuses on the efforts of World Gold Council Member companies and others to promote the formalisation of responsible ASGM entities, improve its impacts on development and to address the negative safety, social and environmental aspects of such mining activities.
This report aims to provide a platform for LSM companies and other actors to share not only their challenges, but also the progress that they have achieved through dialogue, engagement, and collaboration. Importantly, it focusses attention on the need to get incentives and regulatory frameworks right. Amongst the issues covered in the report are the provision of capacity-building and technical support in replacing mercury and in improving safety practices; models for diverting responsibly-produced ASGM from illicit markets; co-operative approaches to mine closure; protecting human rights and combatting child labour.
The report includes input from 15 companies and case studies from 25 mines or projects in 18 countries which includes World Gold Members and non-member companies as well as material contributed by the Swiss Better Gold Initiative. A number of perspectives pieces from governmental and civil society stakeholders are also included.
The report shows that many leading gold mining companies are engaging with ASGM issues, both in and around their mines and at a policy level. Where circumstances permit, they welcome the opportunity to work with governments, industry groups, civil society organisations and responsible artisanal miners to better understand how to reduce the negative impacts of ASGM and to improve developmental outcomes.