Monday, June 20, 2011

Gold's "reputation"

Just wait until the inevitable decrease in the price of gold. That will take care of the more risky elements of gold mining. And since when does a commodity have a "reputation" based on the source of its extraction?

The World Gold Council today announces that, working together with its member companies and the leading gold refiners, it has produced a draft framework of standards designed to combat gold that enables, fuels or finances armed conflict. The draft standards represent a significant, industry-led response to this challenge and are designed to enable miners to produce a stream of newly-mined gold which 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 and 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.

After almost a year of work, the draft standards are currently being ‘stress-tested’ by leading gold mining companies and refineries, as part of the development process. The World Gold Council recognises the multi-faceted nature of this initiative and is seeking input that will foster a collaborative and comprehensive solution and is, therefore, undertaking consultations with stakeholders. Interested parties including governments, NGOs, the investment community, artisanal miners, end-users and other participants in the gold supply chain are being invited to review the draft standards and to provide their feedback by 1 September 2011. There will also be continuing work and dialogue on related issues such as recycled gold, audit and assurance.

Aram Shishmanian, Chief Executive of the World Gold Council, commented that: “Responsible gold mining contributes positively to economic and social development in producing countries both at a national and community level. The misuse of gold to fund conflict is wholly contrary to this mission and is a threat to the reputation of gold.”

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