Jewelry, Gold and Intel?

Intel has been working hard to set-up the systems and processes so we can source “conflict-free” tin, tantalum and tungsten – and we feel we have a pretty good plan for these metals. However, gold is particularly challenging because the vast majority of all gold goes into jewelry, not technology. Also, gold is so valuable that smuggling is a serious issue so tracking becomes a greater challenge.

It quickly became clear to us that if we wanted to address the challenges related to responsible gold sourcing – we would need to bring together the biggest players in the gold and jewelry industry; so that’s just what we did in a meeting last month in Denver.

On March 8th, 2011 companies from the electronics industry met with leading companies and associations from the gold and jewelry industries to share their knowledge and experience regarding responsible supply chain practices. Electronics companies shared their learning and latest initiatives to acquire responsibly-sourced minerals throughout their supply chains, particularly for tin and tantalum. Gold mining, jewelry and refining companies shared the knowledge and expertise gained in their efforts to validate responsibly-sourced supply chains for gold.

Attendees at the meeting included multi-national gold mining and refining companies, large and small jewelry retail and manufacturing chains, and representatives from leading industry organizations. The meeting was convened by Intel Corporation and hosted by Newmont Mining in its Denver offices. The collaboration between the various sectors was facilitated by RESOLVE, an organization that works to support critical policy initiatives, and advance collaborative learning and best practices.

The attendees at the meeting agreed to continue dialogue as they explore solutions. They discussed and evaluated processes to validate sources of responsibly mined gold and differentiate it from illicit sources. They will take appropriate next steps such as testing programs to validate sources and recognize responsible actors in the gold supply chain.

Participants will be reaching out to and welcome input from other related industries and stakeholders as part of this effort.

Participants included: Intel, HP, Birks, Johnson Matthey, AngloGold Ashanti, Kinross, Metalor, Newmont, Richline, Rio Tinto/Kennecott, Tiffany & Co., Responsible Jewellery Council, Valcambi, World Gold Council, RESOLVE and others.

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