World Gold Council Members have contributed $38bn to local economies

Sandeep Biswas, the Chief Executive Officer of Newcrest Mining

A new report by the World Gold Council highlights the role of its members in contributing to socio-economic development in the countries and communities where they operate.

Collectively, WGC member companies have contributed $37.9 billion to the GDP of the countries where they operate in the form of taxes, salaries and payments to suppliers.

This figure was representing 63% of the total revenue they received from gold sales and equates to almost $1,100 in value added locally for every ounce of gold produced.

WGC members employed 200k people directly and 95% were nationals of the host countries. These companies supported an additional 1.2 million jobs through local suppliers.

Wages among WGC member companies are on average six times higher than the national average. For every dollar spent on imports, close to five dollars were spent on local sourcing.

The social and economic contribution of this gold mining report was based on data that was provided by surveying 31 World Gold Council member companies globally.

World Gold Council worked in collaboration with research partner, Steward Redqueen, who used an econometric Input-Output model, which quantifies financial flows between economic sectors, to calculate the industry’s indirect impact and overall value added.

The analysis combined financial data from World Gold Council members globally while using macro-economic and employment statistics from publicly available country datasets.

Key highlights of the World Gold Council report

In 2020, WGC member companies directly paid $8.7 billion in employee wages and $7.6 billion in tax payments to governments in 38 countries where they operate globally.

Direct payments of $26 billion were made through in-country procurement and the resulting indirect value added was estimated at $21.6 billion to local suppliers.

The GDP contribution of WGC members and their supply chains were heavily reliant on gold mining, comparable to the quantum of Overseas Development Assistance received.

In the year 2020, World Gold Council member companies directly employed close to 200,000 people and supported a further 1.2 million jobs through their local suppliers.

These jobs induced another 700,000 jobs in local economies. Every job in the gold mining industry supports six more, or close to ten more jobs if induced jobs are included.

A strong focus from WGC member companies on local hiring in recent years has led to demonstrable results, with local employees making up 95% of the workforce, halving the percentage of expats in the workforce (from 10% to 5%) over the past 7 years.

Gold mining employees are well paid. Wages among World Gold Council member companies are on average six times higher than the national wage average globally.

The industry continues to evolve and improve its ESG performance, as reflected in the adoption of the Responsible Gold Mining Principles by WGC members and other gold miners.

In 2020, WGC members contributed $438 million to communities and Indigenous groups.

Comments on the World Gold Council report

Sandeep Biswas, the Chief Executive Officer of  Newcrest Mining and Chairperson of the World Gold Council ESG Taskforce elaborated furthermore on the members’ contribution.

“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.”

“This report from World Gold Council helps to outline the enormous social and economic contribution that our industry is making in many countries across the world.”

“Responsible gold mining companies boost local economies by creating well paid local jobs, making significant tax payments and creating valuable long-life infrastructure.”

“Investments made by the gold sector will continue to deliver long-term benefits to local communities, and will therefore facilitate extending to well after mine life ends.”

Terry Heymann, Chief Financial Officer at the World Gold Council also explained this aspect.

“WGC members have long believed that when responsibly undertaken, gold mining can contribute significantly to social and economic development for host communities.”

“This report shows the role of gold miners in supporting local and national economies.”

“We therefore believe that this comprehensive data set can be very helpful to provide further transparency into the contribution made by the responsible gold mining sector.”

The World Gold Council report also provides further evidence of the important contribution made by this industry in advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”