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Report from the NGO SOMO on « Gold from children’s hands »

Neuchatel, November 23, 2015 - The Dutch NGO SOMO has just released its report called “Gold from Children’s hands” that is focusing to establish the relation between the issue of child labour in artisanal gold mining and the electronics industry http://somo.nl/publications-en/Publication_4257?set_language=en

SOMO has given Metalor the opportunity to have its views on the subject and in this regard Metalor has provided its input as it is reflected in the report. This is a good example of the policy of transparency that Metalor has with its stakeholders, including NGOs.

Metalor is mentioned in the report in connection with what SOMO calls the “Ghana Route”, since Metalor has been sourcing gold mineral from this African country. One of the points of the report says that “… the gold refined by Metalor most probably includes child-mined gold.” We already informed, both Human Rights Watch but also SOMO, that such was and is NOT the case and still today no one has come with evidences to sustain such assumption.

On the contrary, the Due Diligence/Compliance process enforced by Metalor clearly requires that gold mineral can only be purchased from duly licensed operators that are committed to respect the Supply Chain Policy of the company, that clearly bans any violation of human rights including child labour. As reflected by SOMO in its report, and as part of the diligence process, such is complemented with site visits by Metalor staff to the mines to make sure that there are no issues in that respect.

In summary we want to highlight some positive points that are contained in the report of SOMO, and that are as follows:

  • Metalor only buys gold in Ghana from legal sources;
  • the list of Ghanaian companies mentioned by the 2015 HRW report as alleged suppliers of Metalor in Ghana was not correct;
  • that Metalor stopped business with artisanal mines in Ghana to avoid to be exposed to the risk of Child Labour, even if the company’s diligence process and site visits have never shown any issue in this respect.
  • Metalor only deals with Industrial Mines in Ghana, where such risk does not exist.

For further information on Metalor’s position with regards to human rights, you may read the content of our Supply Chain Due Diligence Policy, which applies to all of our clients and which is available on Metalor’s website (cf. http://www.metalor.com/en/node_59/about-metalor/Supply-chain-due-diligence-policy)

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