The World Gold Council (WGC) produced a draft framework of standards designed to combat gold that enables, fuels or finances armed conflict.
The standards, which were compiled together with the WDC’s member companies and leading gold refiners are designed to enable miners to produce a stream of newly-mined gold that is certified as “conflict free” on a global basis.
The “Conflict Free Gold” and “Chain of Custody” standards set out a framework for tracking conflict-free gold from the mine to the end of the refining process as well as a framework for ensuring that where gold is mined in a conflict or high-risk zone, its production or transportation does not finance or benefit armed groups.
The draft standards are being “stress-tested” by leading gold mining companies and refineries, as part of the development process. As part of this process, the WGC is seeking feedback on the standards by September 1.
“The misuse of gold to fund conflict is wholly contrary to this mission and is a threat to the reputation of gold,” said Aram Shishmanian, chief executive of the WGC.
“The gold market is uniquely complex. It is difficult to track specific consignments from the mine to the end user because gold is easily melted down and co-mingled with gold from other sources. So the success of any certification system will depend upon the co-operation and commitment of many parties in the gold supply chain,” he continued.
According to the WGC, the current focus of concern about gold as a factor in fuelling armed conflict centers on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and adjoining countries.
The draft standards may be viewed on the World Gold Council website at http://www.gold.org/about_gold/sustainability/conflict_free_standards/