Second largest workforce
Millions of people rely on small-scale mining to support their families and communities, making mining the second largest workforce only to agriculture. Despite how many people are involved in this industry, gold mines can be hazardous. Miners are often working in structurally insecure pits or narrow tunnels with poor ventilation without protective gear and using harmful chemicals (like mercury and cyanide) to extract gold. This can contaminate local water sources and create health problems.
On top of the workplace hazards, small-scale mining groups often lack formal extraction rights, leaving them vulnerable to exploitative practices by business partners – and worse – as a conflict mineral, gold attracts organized crime and armed groups that can further threaten miners.
Fighting for safer conditions
We work with small-scale miners to integrate our economic, social and environmental standards ensuring that they are getting a fair deal for their gold. On top of that we support miners in acquiring the legal status for their operations and focus on addressing the challenges the miners and their communities face.
Our certification aims to ban all forms of conflict minerals from the gold supply chain.
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