What is SMO Gold?

Consumers are increasingly concerned about the provenance of the products they buy. Price is important, but so too is knowing that a product is of a high quality and has been responsibly sourced.

Only a tiny percentage of precious metal utilised in the jewellery or investment sectors have a traceable source of origin and having the reassurance of detailed provenance always attracts a substantial price premium.

SMO certification and stamping provides an auditable chain of custody for every gram of gold and peace of mind that this metal has been produced within strict parameters of corporate, social and environmental responsibility.

SMO denotes gold that has been produced by a legitimate mining operation which holds no ties to conflict, where miners are being paid a just wage under secure employment.

Furthermore, SMO guarantees that the communities living locally to the gold source are benefitting from sustainability initiatives carried out by the mining operation. Such initiatives include programmes centred on education, healthcare, safe drinking water and agricultural prosperity to support a wide number of people.


SMO Responsibility throughout the Supply Chain

Extractive industries regularly garner bad press for negative social and environmental impacts. However, we have seen first-hand the immensely beneficial impact that a well-run mining company with rigorous CSR standards can have on communities.

The SMO mark is designed to ensure not only that the gold is traceable to a single mine, but that the mine is operated to the best international standards and is socially and environmentally responsible.

There is already a proliferation of Standards defining what constitutes responsible mining. Rather than creating a brand-new Standard, SMO bases its assessment of what constitutes a responsibly run mine on the existing IFC Performance Standards of Environmental & Social Responsibility and the World Gold Council Responsible Gold Mining Principles.

Details of the assessment can be found at www.singlemineorigin.com, but the core principle is that a mine must have a framework of procedures in place to demonstrate best practice in terms of:

  • Employment Practices
  • Health & Safety
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Community Engagement
  • Corporate Governance

The SMO standard does not, however, stop with the mine. Best practice should also be adhered to throughout the refining and manufacturing process.  SMO gold remains segregated and traceable through both the refining and manufacturing process. Refining must be in compliance with the LBMA Gold Code and both refiners and manufacturers must be Responsible Jewellery Council Certified.


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