How Gold Mining Contributes to Sustainable Development Goals

Not many of us realize the role that gold plays in so many aspects of our society. Some are not even aware that they are using gold in one way or another. It’s not just the jewelry that many of us wear. Our electronic devices use gold, and so does most medical equipment. 

In this post, though, we are going to focus not on gold itself but gold mining and the blossoming gold sector’s contribution to sustainability goals:

Why Gold Holds Such High Value 

Gold is coveted because this durable metal does not tarnish or corrode. It is for this reason that gold jewelry is often passed on from one generation to another. Gold also provides financial security for many people because it is always valued highly. 

Because gold is a scarce natural resource, the responsibility to extract gold sustainably falls on the mining companies and the government. The World Gold Council provides guidance to the industry, along with its member companies and consultants. In 2019, they launched the Responsible Gold Mining Principles, or RGMP. 

The RGMPs are a set of 51 principles, covering all material aspects of ESG or environmental, social, and governance that are related to gold mining. This includes climate change, water management, community engagement, and more. These principles give us clear expectations of what can be considered responsible gold mining. 

To meet the expectations of the society for both transparency and credibility, any performance or move by a company against any of the RGMPs will be publicly disclosed and verified independently. All WGC members are required to implement and conform to the RGMPs, so we can expect gold mining companies to follow these principles.

Extensive Consultation Is Done

Extensive consultation was done for two years during the development of the RGMPs. During this time, considerable input was accepted and eventually incorporated. These came from stakeholder groups, including governments, civil groups, supply chain participants, and more. All the SDG targets were reviewed to ensure that there’s meaningful alignment between the two goal sets. That means the implementation of RGMPs contributes to the application and realization of the SDGs, too. 

Effective Partnerships

Building on solid partnerships, the industry is also trying to improve social inclusion as set out by SDGs 5, 10, and 16. Both women and minority groups have been underrepresented in the industry for so long, but recently, the industry has been addressing this and offering more inclusive working practices and environments. 

Additionally, gold mining has been supporting economic development through school constructions and community livelihood programs wherein they teach certain skills and create more jobs. Responsible miners are also serious about protecting the environment, including water resources. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more critical to have effective partnerships, and WGC members were able to respond immediately to some of the challenges posed by the pandemic. More gold miners started humanitarian initiatives and offered assistance to their host nations, from financial contributions to mine-funded hospitals, among others. 


Gold mining companies strive to work with host communities and countries to make sure that mineral wealth is turned into a means of advancing human development, too. Gold mines bring with them economic growth that poorer rural locations can benefit from. 

If you wish to know more about the advancements in the gold mining industry and the progress of responsible mining, or you are considering joining an alliance of companies that are serious about the advancement of mineral exploration in Canada’s Newfoundland, Newfoundland Gold is here to help you. 

Newfoundland Gold is a Canadian gold mining alliance of companies that are dedicated to bringing awareness to responsible mining and innovative exploration and development. Find out what companies are a part of Newfoundland Gold, and find out how your company can be a part of Newfoundland Gold, too!