The purpose of the meeting was to gather inputs and comments from experts and stakeholders on the draft Responsible Gold Mining Principles which were recently published by the World Gold Council. These are not intended to be a new standard; rather they will provide an over-arching framework, that draws on a range of existing internationally-recognised codes, through which gold mining companies can provide stakeholders with confidence about the environmental, social, human rights and governance standards involved in their gold production. It sits within a spectrum of
initiatives taken by public bodies such as the OECD and the private sector on the responsible sourcing of minerals.
The World Gold Council, which brings together the leading gold mining companies, will explain the drivers for the initiative and obtain feedback on the substance of the Principles and whether additional issues should be recognised. We previously worked with the WGC during the development of the Conflict-Free Gold Standard. On that occasion stakeholder input made a significant impact on the design of the Standard.
Formal-sector gold mining occurs in around 70 countries, including many developing countries. It provides direct employment for one million people and three million indirectly and gold mining’s contribution to global GDP in 2013 was approximately $172 billion. Over recent years there has been a shift in the geographical location of the industry’s value creation towards less developed economies. It is clearly important that the developmental opportunities are maximised through sound environmental, social and governance practices.
In addition to structural support by ECDPM’s institutional partners (the Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and Austria), this event also benefits from funding by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).