New research indicates that responsible gold miners contributed more than $55bn to sustainable economic development in 2012


Categories: Gold production

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Today the World Gold Council releases a new research report, Responsible gold mining and value distribution,which demonstrates further the constructive role responsible gold mining plays in supporting sustainable socio-economic development, particularly in host nations.  In an industry first, member companies of the World Gold Council have collaborated to combine data which provides a comprehensive, country by country view on how value generated by the formal gold mining sector is distributed and how much of that value remains with host nations.  This data covers expenditure in 2012 and includes payments to suppliers, employees and governments.

Out of a total spend of US$55.6bn, US$35.2bn (63%) went to suppliers and US$8.3bn (15%) to wages. An additional US$8.4bn (15%) was paid to governments in taxes and US$3.4bn in payments to providers of capital (including dividends and interest). The study also found that more than 80% of that total spend (US$44.6bn) was made in the country of operation.

The reportcovers 28 countries and analysesdata from 15 companies with over 220,000 employees and contractors. It provides a global quantitative assessment of the value distribution associated with gold mining and profiles some of the positive social and community development impacts made by gold mining companies. Download the full report here.

The research accounts for gold production of 804 tonnes, approximately 30% of mined gold in 2012. Of this, 468 tonnes was produced in non-OECD countries, demonstrating the importance of the gold mining sector to many developing countries.

This new study follows the recent release of an independent report by economists at PwC and commissioned by the World Gold Council on The direct economic impact of gold, which estimates the economic contribution of the entire gold industry at more than US$210 billion to global GDP in 2012. This study provides deeper insights into a major component of that work related to gold mining.  

Terry Heymann, Managing Director, Gold for Development at the World Gold Council said: “There is already a high level of transparency among responsible miners at an individual company level but until now, there has been no systematic attempt to build a comprehensive picture of the economic value created by gold mining companies collectively. This work provides deeper insight into the mine production component of the global gold industry value chain. Greater transparency can help interested parties better understand the sometimes complex economics of mining and ultimately contribute to better development impacts and outcomes.”

“Gold, produced in conformance with high safety, environmental and social standards, provides opportunities in the form of jobs, skills, improved infrastructure and tax revenues. But maximising the development potential of mining requires continued attention and discussion.”

For further information please contact:
James Murray                                                              
World Gold Council                                                        
T +44 20 7 826 4754                                                     
[email protected]


Notes to editors:

About the report methodology:
This survey was conducted by the World Gold Council as part of its work as the market development organisation for the gold industry. This survey includes data from 15 companies with operations in over 28 countries with over 220,000 employees and contractors. The 2012 figures include data from 96 producing gold mines and numerous ‘non-producing operations’ including exploration activities, pre-mine development and closed mine sites.

All gold-producing companies who are members of the World Gold Council were invited to participate. Each company was asked to provide information on payments by country and which of those payments went to individuals or commercial entities in the same country. Companies were asked to include payments related to both producing operations (where gold is being poured and they have a source of revenue) and non-producing operations (where no gold is being poured, there is no source of revenue, yet costs are still incurred).

Companies were asked to provide data on an attributable basis – i.e. only including data for the share of the operation that they own. This ensures that there is no double-counting in the case of joint-ventures, but it does mean that the total figures will under-represent the full impact of the operations included, where they are partially owned by companies or other entities who have not participated in this study.

The World Gold Council consolidated the data on a country-by country basis. The data was also consolidated to provide global information on the amount of money that stays in the country where the operation is located and the amount of money that is paid to businesses or providers of capital outside the country.

This information is not always readily available and so all data has been provided on a good faith basis. The data has not been verified by the World Gold Council, nor has the data been audited and there may be differences between the data provided in this report and financial information released by individual companies, due to a number of factors, including reporting requirements, reporting boundaries and historical corrections.

About the World Gold Council:
The World Gold Council is the market development organisation for the gold industry. Working within the investment, jewellery and technology sectors, as well as engaging with governments and central banks, our purpose is to provide industry leadership, whilst stimulating and sustaining demand for gold.

We develop gold-backed solutions, services and markets, based on true market insight. As a result, we create structural shifts in demand for gold across key market sectors.

We provide insights into the international gold markets, helping people to better understand the wealth preservation qualities of gold and its role in meeting the social and environmental needs of society.

Based in the UK, with operations in India, the Far East, Europe and the US, the World Gold Council is an association whose members include the world’s leading and most forward thinking gold mining companies.

About responsible gold mining and Conflict-free gold:
The World Gold Council and its members are committed to responsible mining practices that minimise impact on the environment. Gold mining should play a positive role in achieving sustainable development and supporting economic growth.

The Conflict-Free Gold Standard, developed by the World Gold Council and its members, provides a common approach by which gold producers can assess and provide assurance that their gold has been extracted in a manner that does not cause, support or benefit unlawful armed conflict or contribute to serious human rights abuses or breaches of international humanitarian law.

The Conflict Free Gold Standard is based upon internationally recognised benchmarks such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.