Gold, a beautiful precious metal adorned by many has been a symbolism of love and power throughout the ages. Civilizations have been built because of it and wars fought over it. As it was then and still today, gold has an impact on societies and individuals alike.
There are 100 million people worldwide relying on the industry for a living, jobs ranging from the miner to the jeweler. The mining industry is a positive force for those people involved in it, but it has not been without concerns and problems.
There are a number of organizations, such as the World Gold Council (WGC) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) working together setting guidelines, standards, and responsible mining practices for the industry. All the organizations work together assuring that the gold products you have, use, sell, and enjoy are not at the expense of the people and the communities involved in the industry.
Gold has influenced societies since it was first discovered 4000 thousand years ago. It has always been a symbol of wealth; civilizations have been built because of its perceived wealth and beauty. Even today, the gold industry has a positive impact on communities and its people. Communities grow; living standards improve. Gold mines provide steady employment and high incomes.
Gold mining affects the environment and not necessarily for the better. Policies pertaining to hazardous materials, waste and chemicals, and water conservation have been orchestrated or are in the process to improve the residual affect of the industry by the WGC and other organizations.
Health and Education
More times than not, gold mines are in developing and impoverished countries. The WGC and mining companies have been working to improve standards. General education is a more common practice now and there are health care initiatives in place to help workers and their families. This has come about because of the social responsibility programs in place.
Mines are usually located in remote areas. Accesses to the mines come by way of poor roads. Large-scale mining companies often put money and effort into upgrading the regions transport infrastructure benefiting the company, its workers, and the community.
Mines need constant water and power to operate. This necessity is often lacking or is inferior. Mining companies build or upgrade utilities in order to undertake their operation. By doing so, everyone benefits with clean, fresh water, the workers and the surrounding areas.
Gold, being associated with wealth and power will often bring out the worst in mankind. The industry is aware of forced labor and extreme violence that has taken place. In trying to improve conditions, the WGC along with other organizations and companies, have initiatives in place to free the industry from armed groups reaping financially from conflicts.
The gold mining and refining industry has a positive and economic impact on the miners, their families, and their communities. Watchdog organizations improve and keep standards high in the industry. Policies, standards, and initiatives are in place so you, the consumer, can buy gold with confidence that conditions for everyone involved is humane.
Karla Brown is a writer from Los Angeles, CA. If you are looking to invest in gold, consult experts to help you on your way, like from Scottsdale Bullion and Coin, which will guide you in the investing process.