Report: What are the social and economic impacts of gold mining?
The World Gold Council (WGC), a market development organization for the gold industry, has released a new report on the social and economic impacts of gold mining and its implications for growth and development.
The findings show the gold industry directly contributed $83.1 billion to the global economy in 2013 through their production activities and expenditure on goods and services. Taking indirect economic impact into account, this contribution skyrockets to $171.6 billion.
That’s more than the combined gross domestic product (GDP) of Ecuador, Ghana and Tanzania.
“The report proves that the total economic impact of gold mining is significant and substantial,” said the head of member and investor relations at the World Gold Council, John Mulligan.
“It is greater than the GDP of over 150 different countries and considerably larger than the total value of global overseas aid in recent years.”
The report by WGC summarizes the impacts of large-scale commercial gold mining in 47 gold producing countries, which accounts for 90 percent of the world’s gold production.
Gold mining companies directly employed more than one million people in 2013, with 4.2 million more people employed as a result of procurement services.
• Related content: [VIDEO] World Gold Council releases Q1 2015 Gold Demand Trends report
The report also highlights the social impact of gold. According to the report, gold mining has made significant progress in seeking to develop local human capital and skills. It shows that over 90 percent of the industry’s employees in most gold producing countries are local workers.
“Our findings highlight that commercial gold mining is a major source of income and driver of economic growth, playing an important role in supporting the sustainable socioeconomic development of host nations and communities,” Mulligan said.
The report states there is a positive correlation between growth in gold mining’s impact on host economics and improvement in income status in these countries. Over 60 percent of the top 30 gold producing countries are low or lower-middle income countries.
The report also gold mining plays an important role of value creator and generator. Mine worker salaries are consistently higher than the national average. In many countries with limited employment opportunities, these mining jobs often support many dependents.
The report found that gold mining companies can also accelerate impactful development projects that improve the socio-economic conditions of host communities well beyond the mine.
One major key finding is that healthcare is a significant focus area for gold mining companies, particularly HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis and malaria.
In a significant number of gold producing countries, the growth of gold mining over a ten-year period coincides with a clear reduction in the prevalence of these diseases.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.