When responsibly completed, gold mining activities can contribute to the socio-economic development of gold-producing countries. It comes with numerous benefits—from investment opportunities to local employment.
However, transparency is critical to ensure that things are done well. The full benefits of the blossoming gold sector will only be achieved with continuous attention, discussion, and efforts on responsible mining activities.
Addressing Gold Mining Issues
For responsible gold mining to be upheld, there needs to be clear and open communication among all the stakeholders.
This includes the local communities, the government agencies, and the gold companies. It is in fact one of the purposes of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA).
The IRMA, which is a central part of the Ethical Standard of the World Gold Council, was launched in 1998 and is committed to establishing guidance and practices that lead to sustainable and responsible mining.
It has helped ensure that the benefits are shared among the local people and the communities, and are in line with the local laws and regulations.
The Standard also aims to achieve greater transparency, accountability and responsibility at all levels of the gold sector, from mine sites to brokerages, and from refineries to manufacturing.
Here are some things to note when ensuring the gold is mined responsibly.
1. Social Responsibility
Gold mining companies have to ensure that they are socially responsible to the various stakeholders. This includes employees, the community where mining takes place, shareholders, the government, and the local community.
Gold mining necessitates that the local community must be included in decisions that affect them. This is an opportunity for them to voice their opinions and contribute to the gold mining process.
In addition, local communities can also benefit from gold mining activities. These include the formation of jobs, health and education facilities, and better road networks.
2. Environmental Responsibility
Gold mining can be highly detrimental to the environment. Measures should be put in place to minimize its effects.
The use of chemicals and other toxic substances should be reduced to a bare minimum. When they are used, their impacts should be mitigated and minimized.
Mines should also be designed in ways that prevent them from impacting the environment. For example, they should avoid being situated in flood-prone areas.
3. Safety Responsibility
Gold mining activities should be undertaken in a way that is safe for both the employees and the surrounding communities. It should be done in a manner that prevents long-term injuries or even mortalities.
There are also environmental regulations to adhere to in order to ensure that the environment is kept safe. These regulations ensure that the involved parties comply with their health, safety, and environmental obligations.
4. Legal Responsibility
Gold mining companies have to ensure that they comply with the legal obligations that they have to the government. This ensures that they pay the correct taxes, royalties, and other fees.
This is also important to ensure that the company remains in good standing with the government. This means that the local community will not perceive them as a big risk, which will reduce any possible negative impacts.
Gold mining is also a potentially big business. It results in employment opportunities and investments in mining companies. However, these benefits will only be realized when the mining activity is done in a manner that is ethical, responsible, and transparent.
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