Last week, the World Gold Council (WGC) published the Conflict-Free Gold Standard (the Standard), which was developed in cooperation with some of the world’s leading gold mining companies, including Newmont. As a member of the WGC, Newmont will abide by the Standard, which is designed to increase trust and transparency in the gold supply chain and provide assurance that gold miners do not cause, support or benefit from unlawful armed conflict or contribute to breaches of international humanitarian law.
Like our fellow members of the World Gold Council, Newmont took on this initiative because we believe it is the right thing to do and it complements several of our existing human-rights programs, including participation in the United Nations Global Compact and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.
Over a period of nearly two years, the Standard was developed utilizing feedback from more than 100 experts hailing from governments, supply chain participants, NGOs, investors, academics and civil society organizations across five continents. We believe that this cross collaboration is important so that the Standard is recognized as both credible and workable.
The Standard reinforces that we need to remain diligent and proactive in respecting human rights when it comes to our relationships with communities that host our operations. Newmont will continue our work at both the country and site level and ensure that we are managing and minimizing risks through established processes.
Additionally, we will continue our training programs at our operations that are designed to facilitate human-rights awareness based on local needs, including seminars on cross-cultural awareness, bullying and security. The Standard compliments our commitment to engage with traditionally marginalized groups such as women, young people and indigenous peoples and, where appropriate, artisanal miners.
Transparency in the supply chain has become increasingly important, but it is not new to the gold mining industry. In fact, since July 2008, Newmont has partnered with Walmart for their Love, Earth jewelry line, which requires that all of the gold in those products meets specific sustainability standards and criteria.
Newmont will publicly report on our conformance to the WGC’s Standard and our performance will be assured by an external party to ensure that our gold is “conflict-free.” Our performance will be reported in 2014, after the first full year of the program, in our annual Beyond the Mine sustainability report.