Extractive industries regularly garner bad press for negative social and environmental impacts. However, we have seen first-hand the immensely beneficial impact that a well-run mining company with rigorous CSR standards can have on communities. 

The SMO mark is designed to ensure not only that the gold is traceable to a single mine, but that the mine is operated to the best international standards and is socially and environmentally responsible. 

Rather than creating a brand-new standard, SMO uses existing major assurance standards to define a responsible source. The standard used for the current SMO mines is the World Gold Council’s Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMPs). The International Council on Mining and Metals Mining Principles (ICMM) has equivalency with the RGMPs and would also be deemed as a suitable responsibility standard by SMO. The Mines signed up to these assurance standards undergo independent auditing to ensure they employ international best practice across all areas of their operation. The mine must have a framework of procedures in place to demonstrate best practice in terms of:

• Employment Practices 

• Health & Safety 

• Environmental Stewardship 

• Community Engagement 

• Corporate Governance 

Detail of the Responsible Gold Mining Principles can be found here and details of ICMM can be found here.

The SMO standard does not, however, stop with the mine. Best practice should also be adhered to throughout the refining and manufacturing process. SMO gold remains segregated and traceable through both the refining and manufacturing process. Refining must be in compliance with the LBMA Gold Code and both refiners and manufacturers must be Responsible Jewellery Council Certified.