Could a conflict-free gold standard finally become a reality? It will, if initial discussions opened up by World Gold Council executives this week in Johannesburg, South Africa, lead to something decisive.
It is their vision that the conflict-free gold standard will ensure that all gold thus produced did not entail any form of armed violence or human rights abuse.
Mining Weekly Online reports that the Council has already spoken to governments in South and North Americas, Europe, and several African nations. The opening round of talks concludes in Australia the coming week.
It will be a lengthy process, as unlike the world diamonds market, gold is made up not only of big operators like AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields, but also millions of artisanal miners worldwide. As well, the American Dodd-Frank Act means that the Securities and Exchange Commission will have to ensure full disclosure and impose auditing requirements on metals sourced from certain countries–principally the Democratic Republic of Congo.
World Gold Council Terry Heynmann commented, “The gold mining industry takes its responsibility very seriously in ensuring that gold doesn’t fuel conflict and is working hard to develop a standard that is internationally recognised. I would hope by the end of the year, at the latest, there will be finality, but it does depend on what we hear through the consultation process.”