Advent of World Gold Council’s Mining Principles will place delinquents under closer scrutiny

Against the backdrop of mounting global concern over the environmental risks and other worrying health & safety loopholes in the gold mining sector, the World Gold Council, (WGC), the market development organisation for the gold industry, has released the Exposure Draft of its Responsible Gold Mining Principles that creates a new framework setting out expectations for investors and downstream users as to what constitutes responsible gold mining.

In what is now its imminent finalisation, the existing draft will place delinquent countries under greater pressure to bring their mining practices, notably those that relate to safety and health and acceptable environmental standards, in line with what is agreed between the WGC and the major global players in the sector.

The Principles, which the Council says addresses the key environmental, social and governance issues for the gold mining sector have evolved out of consultations between itself and its members, the world’s leading gold mining companies. The issues covered include ethical conduct, health & safety, human rights, labour rights, working with communities, environmental stewardship, the use of water, energy & climate change, supply chain & transparency, engagement and accountability. These, the WGC says, are intended to be a credible, comprehensive and widely-recognised framework through which gold mining companies can provide confidence that their gold has been produced responsibly…..