Gold mining has a significant contribution to the economic and social well-being and development of the host countries and communities. Gold mining creates value in different ways and will be distributed in various forms such as local acquisition, employment, improved infrastructure, tax revenue, as well as better education and healthcare.
When gold mining is done responsibly, there will be many benefits for the economic and social development of a country. The impact of gold mining will be evident in the progress at the national and local levels toward sustainable development.
Most gold mining companies try their best to work with the communities in which they mine. Thus, the mineral wealth will result in the human development of the hosting community. Gold mines offer different opportunities and alter economic growth. It will be extremely beneficial in underdeveloped or remote locations that do not have many activities for community development and economic activities. With the impact of Covid-19, governments and businesses have to put in more effort for essential progress in the poorer communities.
According to data from 2020, it is reported that the member companies of the World Gold Council produced about 34.5 million ounces of pure gold and contributed US$38 billion to the countries’ GDP where the companies operate. The report also emphasized the positive influence on employment opportunities beyond the chances at the mine.
Artisanal and small-scale gold mining, also known as the ASGM sector, also has a major role in the development impacts. The ASGM sector is always known for poverty and the lack of any other livelihood. This makes the sector completely outside a country’s legal framework. The sector also is a major concern in fields like governance, human rights, and social and economic development.
Most mining councils and the companies under each council support legal and responsible mining as well as gold trading from all available legitimate sources including the AGSM sector. When large-scale mining and AGSM are combined with the right governance, there will be extensive social and economic advantages to individuals, hosting communities, and the countries where they operate and trade.
Gold mining often operates in poorer or remote locations. The gold mining companies will be investing in many utilities and infrastructures in these regions. Besides the essentials for mining, their investments will also benefit the transportation, electricity, communication, etc of the area. It will be a long-term benefit that outlives the term of a gold mine.
Gold miners will decarbonize energy sources as part of their job, which will offer clean power to all the hosting communities. They also play an important role in providing electricity with low carbon in the region. Thus, there will be potential advantages for the communities beyond the direct facilities from the mine. Gold miners consistently collaborate with the government, NGOs, and the communities they operate in, helping them to identify the areas where they can be a part of social and economic development. Many gold miners invest in different social infrastructures such as colleges, schools, health centers, etc to improve the well-being and opportunities of the local communities