You may have heard of “conflict minerals.” These are raw materials – namely tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold – extracted from conflict zones and sold to finance conflict.
Eldorado does not operate in conflict zones but we adopted the Conflict-Free Gold Standard in 2013 to provide assurance that the gold we produce does not cause, support, or benefit armed conflict, or contribute to human rights abuses or breaches of international humanitarian law. This month we published our third annual Conflict-Free Gold Report.
Here are three reasons why the Conflict-Free Gold Standard is important.
1. Conflict gold is still a problem today.
Unfortunately, the links between precious minerals, mining and unlawful armed conflict still exist. In the Congo over 5 million people have been killed, and over 2 million displaced from fighting funded by conflict minerals. In 2008 alone, armed groups generated an estimated $138 to $226 million from the minerals trade in the Congo.
2. Conflict-free mineral guidelines and regulation are reducing armed conflict.
Government and industry has responded to conflict minerals with new regulations and standards including the SEC’s Dodd-Frank Act Section 1502, the LBMA’s Responsible Gold Guidance, and the WGC’s Conflict-Free Gold Standard. These frameworks span the mining supply chain and have introduced strict standards and expectations for how companies source, mine, transport and supply conflict minerals. They also ensure strict due diligence along the supply chain to detect and prevent contribution to armed groups. Today we are seeing weaker armed groups and fewer mines under their control.
3. Mining companies should be held accountable.
Conflict-mineral guidelines and regulations will not be effective if mining companies are not held accountable for their operations and supply chain. Without accountability, companies would be free to source minerals from any supplier or region without public awareness or scrutiny. While the industry has made a good start, there is still work to do and Eldorado is committed to supporting such actions.
Read the article we’ve drawn data from for this blog post: Financial Post “Suffocating Congo’s War” 2015-02-07
Learn more about our commitment to conflict-free gold in our report: