January 29, 2021

Responsible Sourcing Newsletter: January 2021

Happy New Year to all of our readers.

Looking ahead to 2021, LBMA has set an ambitious agenda aimed at strengthening current responsible sourcing guidelines and practices. At the top of the list will be the revision of the Responsible Gold Guidance (RGG). Among the areas of focus will be to give added definition to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards and how they can align with industry good practice.

Feedback from industry stakeholders and select partners will be sought to ensure version 9 of the RGG has the right mix of the rigour and practicality to keep LBMA at the forefront of responsible sourcing initiatives. Factors to consider will be better alignment to LBMA’s responsible sourcing objectives, the principles of the OECD guidance, and the recent International Bullion Centres recommendations (see more below). LBMA also plans to develop a risk-based approach to deal with different recycled gold sources. To support the implementation of version 9, the Third Party Audit Guidance will also be updated to reflect feedback from auditors.

Alongside this revision, LBMA will also review its Disclosure Guidance for refiners to improve public transparency. Both will be released in time for reporting periods beginning 1 January 2022.

We’re also happy to welcome Alan Martin to the role of Responsible Sourcing Manager. Prior to joining LBMA, Alan worked as the Research Director at IMPACT (formerly Partnership Africa Canada), carrying out investigative research into the intersection between natural resources, human rights and illicit financial flows.

He has an intimate understanding of the sourcing and developmental challenges of the gold and diamond supply chains through his involvement in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, the standards committee of the Responsible Jewellery Council and the OECD’s due diligence framework for conflict-affected and high-risk areas. A journalist by training he spent over a decade working in journalism in Canada, the UK and various countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Born and raised in Southern Africa, he holds a Master’s degree in conflict and development from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Rachel Hart

He will be supported in this role by Rachel Hart, a lawyer who has been with LBMA since 2017. Rachel has been involved in the implementation of the the Global Precious Metals Code, Conflict Minerals Regulation and REACH alongside other regulatory changes impacting physical and financial aspects of the market. Before joining LBMA, Rachel worked in the Finance Knowledge team at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, specialising in debt capital markets and derivatives. She read law at University of York and University of Law, London. Rachel grew up in Guernsey, Channel Islands and lives in Brisbane, Australia.

LBMA's Ninth Assaying & Refining Digital Conference

Please join us on Monday 15 - 17 Wednesday March 2021 as we take our Assaying and Refining Conference online. This event offers a range of cutting edge presentations from how to manage exposure to harmful contaminants in the refining process to new scientific approaches in geoforensics of mined gold. The preliminary programme is available here.

Register here

LBMA Webinar: Refiner Disclosure Guidance

Towards the end of 2020, LBMA hosted a webinar with Benjamin Nénot (Synergy Global Consulting) to introduce the upcoming Disclosure Guidance. As transparency was priority for 2020 and will be going forwards, the Guidance encourages refiners to continuously disclose important data and publish a public interest report for stakeholders. These measures will help to supplement efforts already undertaken by refiners as part of the Responsible Sourcing Programme, and help the RGG to become further aligned to the OECD 5-Step Framework.

The Guidance will be published ahead of reporting periods beginning 1 January 2022.

Recommendations for International Bullion Centres

Towards the end of 2020, we engaged 12 leading International Bullion Centres (IBCs) in an effort to improve and harmonize sourcing practices inline with industry best practices. The outreach has resulted in favourable responses from all centres. LBMA continues to engage with the IBCs to further understand the approach being taken to address the recommendations.

RMI: Consultation on ESG Due Diligence Standard for Minerals Processors

RMI has released its ESG Due Diligence Standard for Minerals Processors for public consultation. This ESG Standard will be a voluntary add-on to other Responsible Minerals Assurance Process standards for smelters, refiners and other minerals processors intended to support conformance to the LME Responsible Sourcing Policy requirements and emerging demands from customers and the investment community. Submit your comments via the RMI website - the deadline for comments is 12 February.

ICMM: Equivalency benchmarks with other responsible sourcing standards

The ICMM has published a series of equivalency benchmarks that compare the requirements of ICMM’s Mining Principles with the World Gold Council’s Responsible Gold Mining Principles, the Mining Association of Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining program, the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, the Responsible Mineral Initiative’s Risk Readiness Assessment and the Copper Mark. Read more on the ICMM website.

Other Responsible Sourcing News

Worldwide: Industry Push on Global Gold Centers Can Reduce Conflict Gold Trade, Global Witness

Africa: Climate data presents a $2 billion opportunity in Africa alone, World Economic Forum

India: Clean gold: India should enforce e-way bill for bullion transport, Business Line

Switzerland: More gold changing hands in uncertain times, Swiss Info

Zimbabwe: Losing millions from illicit gold mining trade, The Africa Report

LBMA's disclaimer on third party content is here.

Webinars & Events

2-3 February: Mining Indaba

15-17 March: Ninth Assaying & Refining Digital Conference, LBMA

19-21 September: Global Precious Metals Conference, LBMA/LPPM

18-21 October: Responsible Business & Responsible Minerals Conferences, RBA/RMI

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