Conflict-Free Gold Standard: Introduction

Published 29th March 2012

Categories: Supply

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The Conflict-Free Gold Standard is designed to apply to World Gold Council members and other companies involved in the extraction of gold. The Standard has been developed to establish a common approach by which gold producers can demonstrate that their gold has been extracted in a manner that does not fuel conflict or the abuse of human rights typically associated with such conflicts.

The World Gold Council and our member companies strongly support the responsible production of gold and believe that gold mining should be a source of economic and social development wherever it is found and that any possibility of gold mining funding conflict should be eradicated. The Conflict-Free Gold Standard is 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. It is an open standard that is available for use by any party involved in the extraction of gold. Gold producers will need to publicly disclose their conformance with the Standard and will require external assurance on this disclosure.

This initiative matters not only because of the immediate challenge of unlawful armed conflict but because the measures taken to counter such conflict need to be structured in such a way as to avoid the stigmatisation of newly-mined gold from any particular area. Many people are alarmed that in pursuit of the important objective of excluding gold that fuels unlawful armed conflict from the market, damage may be done to responsible gold mining – and the livelihoods of gold miners and their surrounding communities – in a number of the world’s poorest countries. This booklet ends, therefore, with some illustrations of the contribution made by gold mining to economic growth, poverty alleviation and development.