The UK-based World Gold Council has launched a consultation for a draft of its Responsible Gold Mining Principles.

The mining principles make up a new framework that sets out clear expectations for investors and gold miners involved in downstream operations.

Last year, the World Gold Council issued the first draft of the Responsible Gold Mining Principles. The latest draft incorporates feedback from stakeholders, including governments, civil bodies, supply chain participants and investors.

The World Gold Council worked with its member companies for the launch of the latest set of the principles, which are expected to address the key environmental, social and governance issues for the gold mining sector.

Ethical conduct, safety and health, human rights, labour rights, working with communities and environmental stewardship are the issues covered in the draft, along with the use of water, energy and climate change, supply chain and transparency, engagement and accountability.

Once the consultation is completed and the draft is finalised, member companies will be expected to comply with the principles.

“The Responsible Gold Mining Principles are intended to reinforce trust in gold and gold mining.”

In the mean time, the World Gold Council is releasing a draft assurance framework. The council is seeking further input for the principles and the accompanying assurance framework through a consultation process that will run until 26 April this year.

World Gold Council chief financial officer Terry Heymann said: “The Responsible Gold Mining Principles are intended to reinforce trust in gold and gold mining by allowing stakeholders to know, with confidence, how their gold has been produced.

“In releasing this exposure draft and the accompanying assurance framework, we are seeking further input to ensure that the principles meet this goal and that stakeholders understand how credible independent assurance will be conducted.”