The World Gold Council (WGC) has highlighted the social and economic impact of its largest gold mining members, including a $37.9 billion contribution to GDP and exponential job creation.
In a report titled The Social and Economic Contribution of Gold Mining, 31 mining companies were assessed on their contribution to society in the 38 countries in which they operate.
Besides their contribution to GDP in the form of taxes, salaries and payments to suppliers, the report found that WGC member companies directly employed 200,000 people.
For each of these people directly employed by gold mining companies, roughly six more jobs were created through local suppliers for an additional 1.2 million roles.
The WGC members operating in Australia which formed part of the report included AngloGold Ashanti, Franco Nevada, Kirkland Lake Gold, Newcrest Mining, Newmont, Resolute Mining and Zijin Mining.
Newcrest chief executive officer and chair of the World Gold Council ESG taskforce, Sandeep Biswas, said these businesses all understood the vital role they played in the communities in which they operate.
“Gold producers are working in partnership with communities, governments and civil society in countries where we operate to share the value created by responsible mining,” Biswas said.
“This report outlines the enormous social and economic contribution our industry is making in countries across the world.”
The report also found that gold mining employees are extremely well paid, earning an average six times higher than the national average.
In Australia, the average wage of a WGC member company employee is almost $120,000 per year – more than double the national average.
It can be assured that most of this money is remaining in the country of operating too, as the workforce of WGC member companies is now made of 95 per cent locally sourced employees.
Biswas says the effects of this investment in local labour will benefit regions in the long-term.
“Responsible gold mining companies boost local economies by creating well paid local jobs, making significant tax payments and creating valuable long-life infrastructure,” he said.
“Investments made by the gold sector will continue to deliver long-term benefits to local communities, extending to well after mine life ends.”
The WGC hoped this report could provide significant evidence of the importance of its members to their host nations, ensuring these operations are well backed by investors and communities alike.
This report clearly sets out the important role responsible gold miners play in supporting local and national economies,” said WGC chief financial officer Terry Heymann.
“We believe that this comprehensive data set can help provide further transparency into the contribution made by the responsible gold mining sector.
“The report also provides further evidence of the important contribution made by this industry in advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”