The first gold refinery in Ghana, Gold Coast Refinery, (the second largest refinery in Africa), has been named a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (JRC), an affiliate of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA).
Gold Coast Refinery’s certification to the Code of Practices of the JRC, makes it the first refinery in Ghana and the West African sub-region to be admitted as a member of the JRC, which is mandated with the responsibility of overseeing the jewelleries and watches industry.
“By the authority of the Council, Gold Coast Refinery Limited is a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council for a duration of three years,” the JRC said in a statement.
According to the Council, the refinery’s certification is in accordance with its 2019 Code of Practice, which is aligned with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance as well as the United Nations’ Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights.
“Achieving RJC Code of Practices certification is a continuous improvement process that requires time and investment. All the members of the GCR team have worked tirelessly to prepare for the rigorous third-party audit,” the Chairman of Gold Coast Refinery, Dr Said Deraz, said about the historic certification by the JRC.
“We have learnt a lot about our own operations, improved some of our processes and developed and implemented new ones. We have also had strong engagement with our business partners and stakeholders.”
Gold Coast Refinery’s certification will help Ghana formalise gold sourcing practices with the country possessing the right to refuse gold from questionable sources.
Additionally, it helps in the development of responsible supply chains of gold from artisanal and small-scale mines as well as aid the Central Bank meet its target of buying 10,000oz of gold annually under its ambitious domestic gold purchase programme.
About Gold Coast Refinery
Gold Coast Refinery is the first state-of-the-art gold refinery in West Africa and the first in Ghana to be awarded a product certification license by the Government of Ghana to hallmark refined bullion of over 995 purity and to market and sell its finished product, including refined gold bars and medallions on both local and international bullion markets.
The refinery’s operations are organised in line with applicable international standards and it boasts of a finished product that can be sold on the international markets.
Gold Coast Refinery’s services include smelting and assaying, refining, bar manufacturing, inspection and certification, hallmarking, vault services, logistics and export, capacity building and training.
About Responsible Jewellery Council
The Responsible Jewellery Council is a leading standards authority in the global watch and jewellery industry and works with members worldwide to create a sustainable supply chain.
RJC certification promotes trust in the global jewellery industry by ensuring companies are adhering to responsible business practices.
The Council’s inclusive and collaborative approach to standard setting and development keeps RJC standards relevant and meaningful to businesses throughout the entire jewellery and watch supply chain.
To maintain the credibility of standards, RJC’s system has been independently evaluated against ISEAL’s Codes of Good Practice, conduct open formal comment periods relating to their standards, and operate the Standards Committee as part of the RJC Governance Framework.
Mr Said Deraz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Gold Coast Refinery, said a successful refining business must be conducted in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, not just in an economically viable way.
That, he said, would help GCR to integrate the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its business operations in line with its vision of promoting sustainable gold supply chains, “as well as demonstrating commitment to the protection of human rights, labour rights, the prevention of environmental pollution, traceability and transparency.”
Ghana is a country known for its gold, timber and cocoa production. It is the number one gold producer in Africa, and number six worldwide. The challenges have always been adding value to the raw materials prior to exporting, curbing smuggling out of the country. The gold is largely produced by artisanal small -scale miners, who often use mercury, which is highly detrimental to their health and the environment.
Mr Deraz said Ghana had an enormous potential and the ability to meet its ambitious domestic gold purchase programme and the development of responsible supply chains of gold from artisanal and small scale mines nd that GCR’s vision was to contribute positively to the country’s programmes by adding value to precious metals.
He said the Company envisaged an expansion of the responsible sourcing programme and sustainable business practices, including environmental, social and governance components across its precious metal value chain in Africa.
The CEO said the Company would accelerate its engagement upstream with artisanal and small scale miners to develop a robust, responsible and traceable supply chain that had a positive impact on the mining communities.
He said they were planning to introduce decarbonisation technology to reduce carbon footprint in small scale mining in line with international standards.
“GCR is exploring the increase of its line of product to the addition of minting of medallions and jewelry production, one of such examples is the production of Commemorative Coins of the King of Ashanti Region, HRM Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene in South Ghana, known as the ‘Kingdom of gold.’
“We also intend to partner with key stakeholders in Ghana such as the School of Mines to provide practical training for students, and the chamber of mines to ensure the enhancement of standards across the country.”