The safety and wellbeing of employees, contractors, and local communities is a fundamental concern of responsible gold-mining companies. 

These principles recognize and consolidate existing values of World Gold Council member companies under a single framework. This provides a platform where mining companies can provide confidence that their gold has been produced responsibly.

"Given the members' sustained focus on improving environmental, social and governance performance, the formalization of the mercury-free gold mining principles is a natural evolution of our daily working practices," said Goldberg. "It is my hope that these principles will be widely adopted, not only by member companies but by the industry more broadly."

Improve the efficiency of the use of water and energy; recognizing that the impacts of climate change and water constraints may increasingly become a threat to the locations where one works and a risk to a license to operate.

Companies that adopt the mercury-free gold mining principles will be required to obtain external assurance from an independent, third-party provider. This will provide further confidence to purchasers that the gold they buy is mined and sourced responsibly.

The International Council of Mining and Minerals’ sustainable development framework, which many responsible mining companies adhere to, includes a commitment to work for the continuous improvement of any aspect of mine operations that could have a direct impact on the wellbeing of workers, contractors, and communities.