Gold sector warned not to ignore high profile issues

07 April 2008 | 03:30 Code : 17034 Geoscience events
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Australia’s gold sector cannot ignore the range of high profile issues it currently faces...

  Australia’s gold sector cannot ignore the range of high profile issues it currently faces or it will put at risk its social licence to operate, according to one of the nation’s most senior mining lobbyists.Minerals Council of Australia Chief Executive Officer, Mitchell Hooke said gold was one of the few resources commodities that had a direct interface with the public at retail and usage level, compared to commodities such as iron ore and coal.“Because of this, the Australian gold industry’s performance, under the current and intensifying climate change pressures, will come under increasing public scrutiny and this will impact key fundamentals such as access to human and financial capital,” Mr Hooke said.“The key issues facing gold are cyanide use and management, acid drainage, the industry’s impact on Indigenous communities and artisinal mining,” he said.“There is no room for dirty gold operations and the industry must continue to drive performance improvement in the gold supply chain.“There are public campaigns to encourage gold retailers to make purchases in line with a whole host of social, ethical and human rights criteria and business practices.”According to Mr Hooke, this pressure will flow down the chain and include, in a job vacancies climate where the mining sector is struggling to meet all of its needs, elections by potential employees not to work for mining companies they see have a poor reputation.

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