The United States (US) State Department in its recent advisory on Africa’s gold sector has urged US nationals and investors to consider exploring opportunities and investment options in the African gold value chain. They are advised to invest in large-scale projects and commercial businesses that foster the sustainable development of the artisanal and small-scale mining sector.

“US persons should also explore opportunities for responsible investment in the African gold sector, including through large-scale projects and direct commercial opportunities support for the sustainable development of artisanal and small-scale mining, and due diligence innovations that enable commercially viable artisanal gold exports” the US State Department noted.

Additionally, US companies and nationals are also advised to collaborate with other stakeholders in initiatives that seek to combat the risks prevalent in the African gold value chain. According to the US State Department the gold industry in sub-Saharan Africa is ailed with both upstream risks—corruption, conflicts, smuggling, human rights and labor abuses, environmental concerns (mercury and cyanide pollution, deforestation, water pollution)— and downstream risks—misuse of recycled gold labeling and money laundering/terrorist financing.

“Companies and US persons are also encouraged to join multi-stakeholder initiatives that address these risks and release data on the impact of their individual efforts. Through these and other efforts, responsible industry participants can reduce risks and increase responsible opportunities associated with the gold industry in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Furthermore, US individuals and companies already engaged in the gold sector have also been urged to undertake due diligence in addressing the identified risks in the sector and also issue public disclosures that detail their efforts in combatting these risks in the gold sector.

“U.S. individuals and entities engaged with the gold sector—whether as miners, traders, refiners, exporters, users, consumers, financial institutions, or otherwise—should carefully review the risks described in this Advisory and ensure they conduct enhanced due diligence to address these risks, as appropriate and necessary. Further, they should consider, address, and report publicly on their efforts related to these risks where possible.”