The new standard, which is currently in ‘exposure draft’ form, aims to ensure that gold produced under its guidelines does not fuel armed conflict, fund armed groups or contribute to human rights abuses.
The standard has been developed in close collaboration with World Gold Council members, who have approved and agreed the ‘exposure draft’ and are committed to implementing the final standard once available.
In a statement, the council said: “This reinforces our Members’ commitment to the development of a truly sustainable gold mining industry.”
The World Gold Council sought 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. The deadline for contributions to the consultation is 30 June 2012.
In its statement, the council added: “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.”
Chairman of the World Gold Council, Ian Telfer, said: “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.”
Chairman of the Franco-Nevada Corporation and the World Gold Council Board Member responsible for leading the development of the standard, Pierre Lassonde, added: “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.”