The Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMPs) – developed by the World Gold Council – is an over-arching framework that defines responsible performance for gold miners. The Responsible Gold Guidance (RGGs) – developed by LBMA – sets out responsible sourcing considerations to be undertaken by refiners. It is mandatory for World Gold Council members to conform to the RGMPs; and for LBMA-accredited refiners to operate in the line with the RGGs.
Earlier this year the LBMA commissioned TDi Sustainability to evaluate the interoperability between the RGG and the RGMPs and review the extent to which Good Delivery List refiners can rely upon independent assurance reports on miners’ conformance with the RGMPs, including the Conflict-Free Gold Standard (CFGS), to meet the RGGs’ ESG-related due diligence requirements set out in the RGGs.
Whilst these standards have different responsibilities covering separate parts of the gold supply chain, the TDi analysis found a high degree of interoperability between the intent and requirements of the two frameworks. Performance is subject to comparable independent assurance frameworks, which provides a high level of confidence in the results.
The independent review concluded refiners can rely on gold miners' independent assurance of their adherence to WGC RGMPs and CFGS to address the following risks:
- systematic or widespread human rights abuses;
- direct or indirect support to illegitimate non-state armed groups or public and private security forces;
- bribery, non-compliance with taxes, fees, and royalties;
- contribution to conflicts;
- encompassing aspects of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance areas.
By ensuring compliance with these comprehensive standards, refiners can strengthen their risk assessment processes and mitigate potential harm caused by unethical practices within the gold supply chain.
David Tait, Chief Executive of the World Gold Council, said: “This offers refiners the assurance and peace of mind that the gold they have purchased from RGMP complaint mines has been sourced responsibly and sustainably within international best practice, and is a great step forward in the industry’s combined drive to provide greater transparency and improve trust in gold.”
Ruth Crowell, Chief Executive of the LBMA, said: “LBMA welcomes the conclusions reached by TDi. Efficient sustainable and responsible practices are integral to the standards developed by LBMA and the WGC. Interoperability between the two comprehensive standards, which operate at different points in the gold supply chain, provides greater confidence to the market, and at the same time will increase efficiency by reducing duplication of the work required by refiners to conform to the RGG.” 1
Note to editors.
World Gold Council
We are a membership organisation that champions the role gold plays as a strategic asset, shaping the future of a responsible and accessible gold supply chain. Our team of experts builds understanding of the use case and possibilities of gold through research, analysis, commentary and insights.
We drive industry progress, shaping policy and setting the standards for a perpetual and sustainable gold market.
The RGMPs -which cover 51 ESG performance areas- was published in September 2019 with a three-year timeline for implementation (with a short extension to facilitate alignment with corporate reporting timelines). Both the RGGs and RGMPs frameworks are subject to rigorous and independent assurance procedures, involving suitably qualified assurers, and public disclosure requirements.
Conformance is required at both corporate and site levels. Since mid-2023, leading gold mining companies have been publishing reports on their conformance with the Principles. Those companies who committed to the implementation of the RGMPs after the initial 2019 start date have been given a similar timeline within which to achieve conformance and must report (with independent assurance) at the ends of Years 1 and 2 on their progress towards this goal. Although some of this material may be useful, during this transition towards full conformance, refiners may require additional risk-based information from implementing companies who are in the earlier stages of implementation.
LBMA is the world’s independent authority for precious metals and standards setter that upholds trust in the precious metals market. Our mission is to ensure the highest levels of leadership, integrity and transparency for the global precious metals industry by setting standards and developing market services. LBMA standards cover the purity, form and provenance of the metal, as well as business conduct. LBMA’s membership incorporates approximately 150 firms, including traders, refiners, producers, fabricators, as well as those providing storage and secure carrier services. For more information, please visit www.lbma.org.uk
The Responsible Gold Guidance (RGG) is the document that underpins LBMA's Responsible Sourcing Programme. The RGG outlines the responsible sourcing requirements for all LBMA refiners producing Good Delivery Gold bars (Refiners). Refiners must demonstrate conformance with all sections of this Guidance and the associated Refiners Toolkit to remain on the LBMA Good Delivery List (GDL). All GDL refiners are then audited every 12 months, by an independent assurance provider. The results of the assurance are shared with LBMA, and non-confidential information is published on LBMA website.
For further information please contact:
Simon Rostron, LBMA:
T: +44 (0) 7802 292 252 E: [email protected]
Stephanie Cadman, World Gold Council
T: +44 (0) 7808 640 303 E: [email protected]