Colombia adhered to the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas in 2012. The guidance provides detailed recommendations to help companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their mineral purchasing decisions and practices. It can be used by any company potentially sourcing minerals or metals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas and is global in scope.
To support implementation of the guidance, this series of baseline assessments analyses the gold mining sector in Colombia and the potential to build responsible mineral supply chains. The assessments also assess stakeholders’ awareness of supply chain risks, the Due Diligence Guidance and the level of implementation – if any - of due diligence initiatives and related government initiatives that could be leveraged.
Small and mid-scale miners, most of them without a mining title, produce most of the gold in Colombia. In 2014, large-scale operations accounted for only 12% of gold production and the total number of mining title holders were responsible for only 17% of production.
While linkages between drug trafficking and the gold trade are not specific to Colombia, the fact that drug trafficking, illegal armed groups and gold production and trade converge is distinctive.
Although government actions have reduced the presence and influence of illegal armed groups and criminal organisations, those groups have consolidated their influence over illegal miners in a number of regions and are deriving significant revenues from illegal mining.