As the Global Authority for Precious Metals, LBMA maintains the highest standards for responsible sourcing. It takes very seriously the human rights and environmental allegations made against MMTC-PAMP in relation to the North Mara Gold Mine (NMGM) in Tanzania and, in 2019, initiated a formal Incident Review Process (IRP).
LBMA welcomed the decision by MMTC-PAMP to appoint Synergy Global Consulting (Synergy) - an independent external consultant - to undertake ongoing on-site assessments together with desk-based reviews of the mine and to recommend improvement measures. Synergy’s second on site assessment and most recent report, provides an update on the improvements made and further actions that should be taken, it concludes:
- Since Barrick Gold Corporation (Barrick) took control of NMGM from Acacia in September 2019, there has been measurable improvement in the management of the previously identified risks
- As a result of the actions taken by management, the risks have measurably reduced, although the potential significant adverse risks remain high, in respect to security forces management, land issues and grievance management.
- Regarding the management of environmental issues, there has been significant measurable improvement, and these are no longer considered to be a high-risk issue.
- Given the significant, multiple, and complex nature of the risks involved it is not necessarily expected that all agreed actions can be completed within a defined period of time, nor that it is possible to demonstrate elimination (or significant reduction) of these risks within the period. The contextual circumstances are likely to remain highly challenging even where there is significant progress and efforts invested by NMGM in risk management.
- The overall finding of the independent on-site assessment of NMGM (based on LBMA Responsible Gold Guidance and OECD Due Diligence Guidance) is that it is recommended that MMTC-PAMP continues trading with NMGM, based upon the improvement plan.
LBMA continues to support the OECD guidance which emphasises good faith and progressive improvement. The OECD recommends that disengagement from a supplier should be considered as a last resort, where the adverse impact is irremediable and there is no prospect of change. LBMA recognises the progress that has been made in relation to the North Mara Gold Mine and welcomes recommendations for further improvements and the importance of continual engagement between all stakeholders.
LBMA has not found any instances of zero-tolerance non-conformance by MMTC-PAMP, and the 2019 IRP has been closed. MMTC-PAMP remains a Good Delivery List refiner.