But cleaning up dirty gold mining is not just a public relations exercise. It's about making concrete, on-the-ground changes in the way that this metal is produced--changes that make a tangible difference to communities and ecosystems affected by mining operations. Mining operations around the world, as illustrated in the Golden Rules Report, demonstrate the importance of these principles for more responsible mining.
The Ethical Jeweller has is calling for more responsible mining by siging on to The Golden Rules, which are social, human rights, and environmental criteria for more responsible mining of gold and other precious metals.
The Golden Rules call on mining companies to meet the following basic standards in their operations:
- Respect basic human rights outlined in international conventions and law
- Obtain the free, prior, and informed consent of affected communities.
- Respect workers' rights and labor standards, including safe working conditions
- Ensure that operations are not located in areas of armed or militarized conflict
- Ensure that projects do not force communities off their lands
- Ensure that projects are not located in protected areas, fragile ecosystems, or other areas of high conservation or ecological value
- Refrain from dumping mine wastes into the ocean, rivers, lakes, or streams
- Ensure that projects do not contaminate water, soil, or air with sulfuric acid drainage or other toxic chemicals
- Cover all costs of closing down and cleaning up mine sites
- Fully disclose information about social and environmental effects of projects
- Allow independent verification of the above