October 10, 2023

Gold Industry Supply Chain Confirms Steps to Underscore Trust from Mine To Market

An independent evaluation process has confirmed that there is a high degree of interoperability between the Responsible Gold Mining Principles and the Responsible Gold Guidance.

The Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMPs) – developed by the World Gold Council – is an over-arching framework that defines responsible performance for gold miners. The Responsible Gold Guidance (RGGs) – developed by LBMA – sets out responsible sourcing considerations to be undertaken by refiners. It is mandatory for World Gold Council members to conform to the RGMPs; and for LBMA-accredited refiners to operate in the line with the RGGs.

Earlier this year the LBMA commissioned TDi Sustainability to evaluate the interoperability between the RGG and the RGMPs and review the extent to which Good Delivery List refiners can rely upon independent assurance reports on miners’ conformance with the RGMPs, including the Conflict-Free Gold Standard (CFGS), to meet the RGGs’ ESG-related due diligence requirements set out in the RGGs.

Whilst these standards have different responsibilities covering separate parts of the gold supply chain, the TDi analysis found a high degree of interoperability between the intent and requirements of the two frameworks. Performance is subject to comparable independent assurance frameworks, which provides a high level of confidence in the results.

The independent review concluded refiners can rely on gold miners' independent assurance of their adherence to WGC RGMPs and CFGS to address the following risks:

  • systematic or widespread human rights abuses;
  • direct or indirect support to illegitimate non-state armed groups or public and private security forces;
  • bribery, non-compliance with taxes, fees, and royalties;
  • contribution to conflicts;
  • encompassing aspects of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance areas.

By ensuring compliance with these comprehensive standards, refiners can strengthen their risk assessment processes and mitigate potential harm caused by unethical practices within the gold supply chain.

David Tait, Chief Executive of the World Gold Council, said: “This offers refiners the assurance and peace of mind that the gold they have purchased from RGMP complaint mines has been sourced responsibly and sustainably within international best practice, and is a great step forward in the industry’s combined drive to provide greater transparency and improve trust in gold.”

Ruth Crowell, Chief Executive of the LBMA, said: “LBMA welcomes the conclusions reached by TDi. Efficient sustainable and responsible practices are integral to the standards developed by LBMA and the WGC. Interoperability between the two comprehensive standards, which operate at different points in the gold supply chain, provides greater confidence to the market, and at the same time will increase efficiency by reducing duplication of the work required by refiners to conform to the RGG.”