By ALICE NACHILEMBE
The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) has urged ZCCM-IH to align its Gold trading practices to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) due diligence guidelines on responsible mineral supply chains.
CTPD Senior Researcher (Extractives) Webby Banda said the guidelines are simply guidance on how to undertake a supply chain due diligence of Gold potentially sourced from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.
Mr Banda said this in a statement that the purpose of these guidelines will be to allow ZCCM-IH scrutinise the source of the Gold bought.
He said this is to ensure that its buying process is not promoting human rights abuses and conflict in the supply chain of Gold potentially sourced from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.
“Gold is easily transported and malleable. These properties make it easy for illegal dealers to melt and recast Gold with that which is mined domestically. This subsequently masks the origin of the illicit Gold. When this happens Zambia will be seen as cumulatively perpetuating instability in high conflict countries from where this illicit Gold is sourced,” he said.
“According to the OECD guidelines, artisanal and small-scale Gold producers such as individuals, informal working groups, or communities are not expected to carry out due diligence but they are encouraged to remain involved in due diligence efforts of their customers. They must be encouraged to formalize so they can carry out due diligence in the future,” he said.
Mr Banda said in promoting effective due diligence on the part of ZCCM-IH, CTPD has made the following specific recommendations:
“ ZCCM-IH should set up a department devoted to undertaking due diligence in the supply chain of Gold; ZCCM-IH needs to identify and assess risks in the Gold supply chain; and ZCCM-IH needs to design and implement a strategy to manage risks,” he said.