World Gold Council unveils latest draft of Conflict-Free Gold Standard

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Categories: Gold mining and sustainable development

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The World Gold Council, whose members comprise the world’s leading gold mining companies, today unveils its “Exposure Draft” of the Conflict-Free Gold Standard. The objective of the Standard is to create absolute trust that the gold produced under its guidelines neither fuels armed conflict, nor funds armed groups, nor contributes to human rights abuses associated with these conflicts.

The Standard has been developed in close collaboration with World Gold Council members, who have approved and agreed this “Exposure Draft” and are committed to implementing the final Standard once available. This reinforces our Members’ commitment to the development of a truly sustainable gold mining industry.

The World Gold Council received input from a wide range of stakeholders including: NGOs, Governments, investors, media and academics, following the publication of a first draft in June 2011. The “Exposure Draft”, issued today, allows for further comment from interested parties before the final version is published. Consequently, we are requesting further input from interested parties by 30th June
2012.

Implementation of the standard must be capable of being audited by external assurance providers and the World Gold Council and its Members will continue to work to ensure that it complements and integrates with other industry frameworks.

The Standard is underpinned by a declaration of principles which include commitments to certain behaviours such as respecting human rights and ensuring payments are not made, directly or indirectly, to illegal armed groups.

Ian Telfer, Chairman of the World Gold Council and Goldcorp commented, “Responsible gold mining is an important contributor to both economic growth and social development in gold-producing countries. We believe that, where it is responsibly undertaken, gold mining and its related activities can play a crucial role in achieving sustainable development and alleviating poverty in developing countries as well as contributing to sustained economic growth in developed countries.”

Pierre Lassonde, Chairman of Franco-Nevada Corporation and the World Gold Council Board Member responsible for leading the development of the Standard, continued, “I’ve been proud to lead the development of the Conflict-Free Gold Standard. The supply chain for gold is highly complex, and this Standard represents a major step forward towards eradicating gold that fuels conflict from the legitimate
supply chain. It is essential that we combat any misuse of gold. This has been the driving force of this Standard which will apply to conflict-affected areas globally. Our Members are committed to implementing the Standard, following the formalisation of the Exposure Draft, throughout their businesses.”

For further information please contact:

Justine McGuinness
World Gold Council
T +44 (0)207 826 4740
E justine.mcguinness@gold.org

Nathan Williams
Email: nathan.williams@capitalmsl.com
Tel: +44 (0)207 307 5343

Quintin Keanie
Email: quintin.keanie@capitalmsl.com
Tel: +44 (0)20 7255 5154

Note to editors:

The Exposure Draft may be viewed on the World Gold Council website at
http://www.gold.org/gold-mining/responsible-mining/conflict-free.

World Gold Council Conflict Free Gold Standard

The Standard provides a mechanism by which gold producers can assess the risk that their operations may contribute to armed conflict and associated serious human rights abuses. Where the risk exists that gold production may support armed conflict, gold producers who are in adherence with the Standard will:

1. Publicly commit to respecting human rights, through support of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the UN Global Compact, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, and/or through independent scrutiny of their human rights performance.

2. Respect human rights at their operations and in their dealings with stakeholders. Wherever possible, they will seek to use their influence to prevent abuses being committed by others in the vicinity of their operations as envisaged by the
United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Sourcing of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.

3. Take steps to ensure mine security providers have not been involved directly in, or associated with, financing or benefiting armed groups involved in serious human rights abuses or breaches of international humanitarian law.

4. Put in place controls designed to prevent their operations, agents or mine security providers from bribing or providing illegal payments, or voluntarily providing equipment to third parties directly or indirectly involved in armed conflict.

5. Publicly disclose payments made to governments.

6. Establish processes through which the public may raise concerns about the mines’ operational activities.

7. Utilise transportation services that are not involved directly in, or associated with financing or benefiting armed groups involved in, serious human rights abuses.

8. Implement due diligence procedures to ensure that any third party miners that provide gold-containing materials to their operations also comply with these principles.

For more information about the Conflict Free Gold Standard, including an Introductory Brochure to the Standard, visit our Sustainability pages