Mineral resources such as diamonds, tin, and gold that are used to fund wars and criminal organizations around the world are referred to as conflict minerals. Mining companies, especially those operating in high-conflict areas, have developed specific CSR practices that help ensure their operations are not contributing to illicit activities associated with conflict minerals. Below are some examples of how Canadian mining and exploration companies have addressed the challenges linked to conflict minerals:
Responses by Company
Agnico Eagle Mines Limited
To address the conflict mineral trade we do an external audit.
Angkor Gold Corp.
The company buys gold at spot price from artisanal illegal miners on our concessions. We do this because we can teach them safer methodology and it gives us a great idea of what they are finding close to surface. We also have regular stakeholder sessions with a variety of villages on different concessions.
Barrick Gold Corp.
Barrick is committed to ensuring that the gold we produce has been extracted in a manner that does not fuel unlawful armed conflict or contribute to serious human rights abuses or breaches of international law. In 2013, Barrick adopted and implemented the World Gold Council’s Conflict-Free Gold Standard. The Conflict-Free Gold Standard was designed to be implemented by World Gold Council member companies and other entities involved in the extraction of gold. It was developed after extensive consultation with industry, governments, civil society and supply chain participants.
Barrick was a key participant in the development of the Standard as part of the Responsible Gold Committee of the World Gold Council. The Standard provides a common approach by which gold producers can assess and provide assurance that their gold has been extracted in a manner that does not cause, support or benefit unlawful armed conflict or contribute to "serious human rights abuses" (as defined in the Standard) or breaches of international humanitarian law. Conformance with the Standard is externally assured by an independent third party. All gold produced and dispatched by Barrick is in conformance with the criteria set out in the Standard and is considered ‘conflict-free’. Barrick produces an annual Conflict-Free Gold Report which describes our adherence to the Standard. This report and an independent letter of assurance by Bureau Veritas - a global leader in assurance and certification - confirming Barrick’s conformance to the Standard, are available on our website. Barrick’s CSR team is responsible for assessing and demonstrating compliance with the Standard. For each assessment relevant under the Standard, documentation was collected in the form of an Evidence Pack. This package includes such applicable evidence as: relevant sections of the past two Heidelberg Institute Conflict Barometer reports for our countries of operation; copies of applicable international sanctions databases; information on Barrick’s use of externally-sourced gold and our due-diligence procedures on this gold; and evidence on the transportation and control of gold from our mine sites. This information was shared in confidence with our assurance provider as supporting evidence to the content in the publicly available Conflict-Free Gold Report.
In 2013, Goldcorp implemented the Conflict-Free Gold Standard and confirmed that all gold and gold-bearing material produced at our mining operations has the appropriate systems and controls in place to conform to the World Gold Council’s Conflict-Free Gold Standard. Conformance with the Standard was subject to independent assurance.
It is important to note that Mexico is the only country where Goldcorp operates that has areas considered to be “conflict-affected or high risk” (according to the Heidelberg Conflict Barometer), and therefore our Mexico sites – El Sauzal, Los Filos and Peñasquito – were the only sites required to implement all parts of the Conflict-Free Gold Standard. Highlights of Goldcorp’s implementation of the Conflict-Free Gold Standard in 2013 in Mexico include: Implementation of practices aligned with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights; risk-based due diligence procedures for suppliers, doré bar transport providers, and security providers; and enhancement of site risk assessments to identify key risk points for loss of product and mitigation controls. For a copy of Goldcorp’s 2013 Conflict-Free Gold Report and more information on the background and structure of the Standard, please visit www.goldcorp.com or click the link under Attachments on this page.
Kinross Gold Corp.
Since 2010, Kinross has been a member of the World Gold Council’s Responsible Gold Steering Committee, which has developed, with input from a wide range of international stakeholders, a Conflict-Free Gold Standard. Kinross produces an annual Conflict-Free Gold Report which describes our adherence to the Conflict-Free Gold Standard.
A company indicated that in its community dialogues it covers all sorts of communication strategies and a wide angle for mining, including conflict areas. By informing people on the mining industry and potential issues, the company endeavours to make them aware of what the business is all about, and how they can benefit from it.