CHARTS: This is how much gold miners really put into their host countries
Members of the World Gold Council (WGC), the market development organization for the global precious metal industry, spent last year a total of $47 billion in countries hosting their mining operations, a recent report published by the WGC shows.
According to “Responsible gold mining and value distribution,” gold miners belonging to the WGC provided work for more than 160,000 people and allocated 71% of their total investments, or $37.4 billion, to local suppliers of good and services in their host countries.
The United States ranked first in WCG members’ spending at US$7.5 billion, followed by Australia at $6.3 billion, Canada at $4.1 billion, Argentina at $3.7 billion and the Dominican Republic at $3.3 billion.
Payments to governments totalled $4.65 billion and the U.S. topped the list again at $750 million, followed by Peru at $582 million, Argentina at $482 million, Mexico at $368 million, and Australia at $363 million.
Terry Heymann, managing director of gold for development at the WGC and author of the report told MINING.com the study proves that, responsibly undertaken, gold mining and related activities can play an important role in achieving sustainable development and decreasing poverty in developing countries.
Asked about WCG members’ part in helping host countries to deal with illegal mining, he said the illicit activity remains a challenge that needs to be addressed through government-led collaborative efforts.
Extraction in conflict-affected areas
The WGC released its Conflict-Free Gold Standard in October 2012 to foster industry standards and set best practice for others to follow. Heymann believes that those principles have helped to stop gold mining from funding wars in conflict states encompasses the entire supply chain.
“Companies operating in conflict-affected areas have a responsibility to demonstrate their commitment to responsible mining, providing confidence to their customers, communities and other stakeholders,” he says.
“This activity should be encouraged so that the broader social and economic developmental benefits associated with gold-mining can play a role in helping to provide jobs and economic development,” Heymann adds.
The report drew information from 87 producing gold mines and 60 “non-producing operations” including exploration activities, pre-mine development and closed mine sites, across 26 different countries.