Gold mining still most significant source of income in Africa, Asia — WGC
While the global gold industry injected more than US$171 billion into the world’s economy in 2013, the countries that benefitted the most from such contribution were mainly African and Asian nations, the World Gold Council says.
Speaking to MINING.com, John Mulligan, head of member and investor relations at the WGC, said that even though the focus of the report released this week is on formal, large scale mining, the council acknowledges that artisanal and small-scale (ASM) gold miners can play a significant role in local economies and communities of several developing countries.
The main issue, he says, is that reliable and comparable data on the socio-economic impacts of artisanal gold production across different producing countries is not currently available.
“It is important that moves to increase transparency in the gold market do not unintentionally further marginalize ASM producers or drive them further in to the grip of exploitative middle men or criminal networks,” Mulligan says.
Interestingly enough, the countries for which gold mining represented, in 2013, a very substantial part (percentage) of GDP (>5%) were mostly African and Asians, with the only exception of Peru.
Many of these countries, says Mulligan, have experienced significant growth in gold mining’s contribution to their national economies:
He adds that is key for the industry and governments to continue focusing on how to minimize the risk of artisanal and small-scale gold mining funding conflict, while promoting a responsible minerals trade in conflict-affected areas.