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METALOR – THE LEADING GOLD REFINER WORLDWIDE FOR ITS EFFORTS ON CONFLICT GOLD AND IMPROVEMENT OF ARTISANAL MINING

Metalor is the leading gold refiner worldwide for its efforts on conflict gold and improvement of artisanal mining where conflict, social and environmental problems arise. Metalor, alone among gold refiners, took a leading role in the OECD Gold Supplement drafting committee for the past two years to create a worldwide due diligence guidance to avoid finance of conflict through gold transactions. In these efforts we have worked with governments, leading NGOs and industry associations to create guidance that is strong and effective, and that has been widely endorsed. We have also worked directly with industry associations to implement that guidance through their membership compliance standards, and became the first gold refiner worldwide to be audited and certified to the corporate social responsibility (2010) and conflict-free (2012) standards of the Responsible Jewellery Council at all of our refineries. We have also worked intensively with the London Bullion Market Association and with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition and Global e-Sustainability Initiative to create their conflict-free standards. All of these associations conform their standards to the OECD Guidance and Gold Supplement, which have been recently endorsed by the United States government.

The OECD has recognized in its Gold Supplement the particular problems and concerns associated with artisanal gold mining, where many millions of very poor persons work, and strongly urged in its Gold Supplement that all participants work toward formalization and improvement of that sector. Metalor is the first refiner worldwide to respond to that request through the Swiss Better Gold Initiative. This initiative combines the efforts of the governments of Peru and Switzerland, the Responsible Jewellery Council and NGO Fairtrade/Fairmined, Metalor, and consumers of gold in Switzerland. Its goal is to formalize a large group of artisanal miners in Peru, with guidance and standards for improved environmental and social working conditions and operations, and to bring that gold into the formal gold industry to concerned consumers in a sustainable way. This project is considered by the government of Switzerland to be a part of its humanitarian efforts in developing countries, and its Federal Department of Foreign Affairs recently invited Metalor, alone among gold refiners, to describe this project in a public forum of business and human rights.

All Peruvian companies that export their gold to Metalor are legally established and registered in the Ministry of Mines. All exports are duly reported at SUNAT by Metalor’s customers.

All Metalor customers fulfill complete due diligence procedures according to the Swiss law and AML-requirements. The Peruvian customers in addition have also provided following documents:

  • sworn statement regarding CSR, environmental protection and human rights
  • sworn statement confirming that the exploitation, extraction, and export of minerals fully comply with Peruvian laws
  • confirmation that the companies have appointed compliance officers specifically for above subjects.

Recently Metalor has engaged with the government of Peru in its efforts to formalize and improve that country’s large artisanal mining sector. Metalor’s local representative, a native of Peru with long experience in gold mining in that country, engages in frequent consultation with the Ministry of Mines about gold operations in general and about Metalor operations in particular. Metalor has also taken action to comply with and implement strict new Peruvian mining laws, even where that has resulted in the loss of significant business, and will continue to do so while these laws are implemented throughout the country. Metalor Managers have become trusted partners with the government of Peru in these efforts.

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