Forget "Blood Diamonds", Here Comes "Conflict Gold"

Tyler Durden's picture

Update: The WGC has provided us with the following clarification to our rhetorical query on deciding who the blacklisted country is: "The reason the DRC is the focus is due to section 1502 of
the Dodd-Frank Act which specifically identifies that country as the reason for
the legislation. You can read our submission to the SEC on S. 1502 on our
website for further details on our POV.

Original post

In what could be the oddest development in the precious metals market in a long time, the World Gold Council has just unveiled an initiative whose sole purpose if to combat "conflict gold." From the just released notice: "The World Gold Council today announces that, working together with its member companies and the leading gold refiners, it has produced a draft framework of standards designed to combat gold that enables, fuels or finances armed conflict. The draft standards represent a significant, industry-led response to this challenge and are designed to enable miners to produce a stream of newly-mined gold which is certified as ‘conflict free’ on a global basis." While we are confused what exactly is being pursued with this action, aside from the creation of a black market for gold of course, it does seem that the logical end result will be a decline in the total supply of "certified" gold. On the other hand, it will also afford the WGC or any prevailing authority the ability to brand any country it so chooses (Indonesia?) a sourcer of "conflict gold" and effectively clamp down on the production of the yellow metal. Additionally, what better way to deprive a gold sourcing country of massive export revenues than to effectively make their product unsellable in the "legitimate" market. Which then would lead to a surge in fair market value due to supply considerations. Which begs the question: is this the preparation for the "golden" endgame?

More from the WGC:

After almost a year of work, the draft standards are currently being ‘stress-tested’ by leading gold mining companies and refineries, as part of the development process. The World Gold Council recognises the multi-faceted nature of this initiative and is seeking input that will foster a collaborative and comprehensive solution and is, therefore, undertaking consultations with stakeholders. Interested parties including governments, NGOs, the investment community, artisanal miners, end-users and other participants in the gold supply chain are being invited to review the draft standards and to provide their feedback by 1 September 2011. There will also be continuing work and dialogue on related issues such as recycled gold, audit and assurance.

Aram Shishmanian, Chief Executive of the World Gold Council, commented that: “Responsible gold mining contributes positively to economic and social development in producing countries both at a national and community level. The misuse of gold to fund conflict is wholly contrary to this mission and is a threat to the reputation of gold.”

The current focus of concern about gold as a factor in fuelling armed conflict is on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and adjoining countries. The World Gold Council standards address this situation for large-scale producers. In addition, the World Gold Council is working with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and others on global guidelines for the responsible sourcing of gold.  The World Gold Council is committed to working with sector specific groups in the electronics and jewellery sector to seek an integrated solution for market participants.

Aram Shishmanian continued: “The gold market is uniquely complex. It is difficult to track specific consignments from the mine to the end user because it is easily melted down and co-mingled with other sources of gold.  So the success of any certification system will depend upon the co-operation and commitment of many parties in the gold supply chain. The work on the standards is well advanced, but we want all those committed to addressing conflict issues to contribute their ideas. We are aiming for a comprehensive framework which commands confidence, credibility and broad support. We look forward to working with organisations that use gold to in developing an integrated certification process that avoids duplication and meets the needs of all stakeholders.”  

As the release notes, the "current focus" is the Congo. What will be the focus tomorrow? And the day after?

The draft standards may be viewed on the World Gold Council website at the following link.


And another update from the WGC:

It is important for the gold industry to show that newly-mined gold is produced responsibly; to be responsive to market expectations; to engage pro-actively with governments and regulators; and to play its part in preventing gold from being misused to fund armed conflict or severe human rights abuses.

For further clarification, the framework represents a significant contribution to addressing the challenges posed by regulatory initiatives (including the US’s Dodd-Frank Act). The Framework reflects the global approach of the OECD guidelines on responsible minerals supply chain management. The World Gold Council is working closely with the OECD to ensure that the World Gold Council framework and the OECD guidelines on the responsible sourcing of minerals supplement on gold are mutually supportive. The World Gold Council framework is geographically broader than the DRC-focused requirements of the Dodd Frank Act in that it provides a framework for analysing gold’s impact on armed conflict situations wherever they may arise. In principle, the World Gold Council chain of custody scheme could be a significant element in helping manufacturers to meet Dodd-Frank’s requirements.

Regarding identifying conflict, the World Gold Council will not seek to make these sorts of judgements. Those countries which are defined by national legislation (e.g. the US Dodd-Frank Act) or by supra-national bodies (e.g. the UN) as being in such a level of crisis will automatically trigger an assessment by companies operating in those areas.

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Jack Mehoff's picture

Control, it's all about control.

legal eagle's picture

You can't melt diamonds. Impotent gesture.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Since when did impotence ever stop power hungry manipulating assholes from waving their dicks around? In fact there seems to be a direct correlation between impotence and dick waving.

Not that....I......would..............know.......... :>)

trav7777's picture

noothing pohlishes a doymuhnd like the blood of a bleck mehn

Dr. Acula's picture


BTW, diamonds decay into the lower-energy graphite configuration with a half-life of 4 trillion years.

smlbizman's picture

what about "conflict cotton"

SWRichmond's picture

I think it's fairly obvious that this is a semi-legislated "Goldfinger" scheme to elevate the value of "some" gold by lowering the value of "other" gold through questioning its origins.

Brought to you by the world anti-gold council.

Clampit's picture

Cool the Z machine (I've seen an original of this pic posted outside the lab):

Diamonds are one of the best thermal conductors available, coupled with astronomical melting temps = need big oven.

downrodeo's picture

That is remarkable. Still, using diamonds for fusion reactions doesn't seem to deal with the issue of the cost of energy. Then again, the diamond market is one of the most, if not the most, rigged markets in existence. Perhaps we've found the fuel of the future...

legal eagle's picture

I stand corrected then.  Still....a garden variety terrorist in a base camp can melt gold, not a diamond.  Only terrorists like Bush and Obama can access this technology.

illyia's picture

Gold must be controlled lest it fall into terrorist's hands! It is the currency of terror! Only a terrorist needs gold!

Honest people would only use fiat because they have nothing to hide.


JW n FL's picture

I like you even though you are a woman and lack the logic gene.. you seem to be doing ok in this one instance without it.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Logic is precisely what men have been using for thousands of years to justify rape, robbery and oppresive government. I suspect we could all use a little bleach in our logic genes.

flacon's picture

That's not a very logical statement. 



Cognitive Dissonance's picture


That's because I already used some Clorox in my gene pool. Mom said I used too much, but I'm a veteran of the tie-dye generation and thus I don't understand the term 'too much'. :>)

Phaethon's picture

That's one of the stupidest things I've read in a while.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Sorry. Forgot the /sarc and /humor tags.

Keep coming back to ZH more often than once every few weeks. You'll eventually get the hang of it.

RafterManFMJ's picture


Giving women the vote invariably leads to socialism and destruction of the country in question.  Not debatable, been proven with science and statistics; not going to bother linking as you can learn on your own at your own pace. Consider this a test of your intelligence and experience over your emotions.

Ok, edit. I went out on the world wide web and found this. Get you started.


Women's suffrage and government growth

Using data from 1870 to 1940, Lott and Larry Kenny studied how state government expenditures and revenue changed in 48 state governments after women obtained the right to vote. Women were able to vote in 29 states prior to women's suffrage and the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Lott found that the impact of granting of women's suffrage on per-capita state government expenditures and revenue was startling.[25]

His research indicates that women's suffrage had a bigger impact on government spending and taxes in states with a greater percentage of women. Even after accounting for variables such as industrialization, urbanization, education and income, per capita real state government spending, which had been flat or falling during the 10 years before women began voting, doubled during the next 11 years. The increase in government spending and revenue started immediately after women started voting in national elections and 19 additional state elections.[26]

Cognitive Dissonance's picture


Sure looks like giving women the right to vote destroyed America. It's all right there on the Internet and backed up by science and statistics no less. Nothing else could be the cause, just those silly illogical women voting for socialism.

I believe everything John Lott says.


trav7777's picture

your not to brite, eh?

there's a direct causal effect between women voting and government expenditures.  Your moronic strawman of "silly illogical," well...seems to sum up YOU

legal eagle's picture

Hilarious.  I love that:  "your not to brite"  instead of: "you're not too bright"  Love the irony when assholes pigeon themselves and show their level of ignorance.

trav7777's picture


if you REALLY believe that I misspelt 3 words in a row, then you're the dumbest fuck on this board, man.

RockyRacoon's picture

Would it ruin your image if you were to spell and use syntax correctly?

Get your panties out of a bunch.  If you CAN, why don't you?

legal eagle's picture

What I really think is you are a sloppy thinker, and a prick, just pointing out the obvious irony which, if you were not a prick, you would realize is humerous. Thanks for being concerned enough with my opinion to edit your post.

tmosley's picture

Well, better sterilize all women so that only superior men can reproduce, then.


trav7777's picture

the woman that had you should have been.

Sterilization isn't the answer to everything, you dipshit.

RockyRacoon's picture

Maybe not everything, but certainly some annoying things (looking intently at your avatar...).

RafterManFMJ's picture

The Rafterman enjoys a hearty laugh at your expense.  Note, I tried to prime you to think, and not react emotionally.  Women will, and do, vote for more 'free' goodies, more 'fatherlike' support from the state...women tend to be liberal socialists and only may change when they marry and realize, "HOLY ****, look at what *we* are paying in taxes!" Then they become fiscal consevatives.

So really CD you argue against research, facts, evolutionary biology, and history. Or herstory. Hey, good luck with that.

If this post bothers you and you are female, remember that no baby whales were bludgeoned to produce it, and in fact, it is all for the children. Feel better now? Sure you do!

Vlad Tepid's picture

Giving all men the right to vote was also a stupid decision.  I think it was proven, scientifically and logically, in the minds of the Founding Fathers, that only those with propertied interests should be trusted with the vote.  Universal manhood suffrage has been almost as big a blight as universal suffrage.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Very good point.  When the mob has the vote, they will vote themselves freebies from the productive. And they have been, and do.  

caconhma's picture

Women, by their  biological nature, are programmed to be intelligent parasites. They need a "body" to provide them and their offsprings with a "life support".

Granted, a lot of women are smart, hard working, highly productive, and very adorable but they are genetically programed to find and use a "provider body" to support them and their offsprings. This is the Nature Law and nobody, I repeat nobody, can change it. This is how the world has been designed & built. It is nothing wrong with it. Regardless of how smart and intelligent people are, they have to eat, pee, and poo. There are no ways around it.

Consequently, it is natural for women to vote for a Big Government trying to gain additional "free" benefits from it.


We humans must know & understand the nature and behave accordingly in our quest for happy and  enjoyable lives.

trav7777's picture

this is categorically stupid and incorrect

legal eagle's picture

Do you really mean "categorically stupid".  Is English your second language then?

trav7777's picture

yes, I do...and YOU are categorically stupid as well.

Let's have teh interwebz help us out here:

Definition of CATEGORICAL. 1: absolute, unqualified <a categorical denial>

doggings's picture

hmm, is this just military style combat, or are they including use of gold for black ops, subterfuge and destabilization too?  

if so they might start by checking out what the ESF has been doing with the USA's gold for 50 odd years



downrodeo's picture

Rebuttal to the bullshit notion that 'if you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide':

From Bruce Schneier:

  • "If I'm not doing anything wrong, then you have no cause to watch me."
  • "Because the government gets to define what's wrong, and they keep changing the definition."
  • "Because you might do something wrong with my information."

I admire your 'patritoism', illy...


BTW, i haven't seen the bogey man in years. How do I know if I should still be afraid of him?

akenathon's picture

Yup u're right but normal people don't even use fiat money...what they want is to eat at the end of the day...which less and less are able to do.

This article is very important as it shows that Gold is real money now.

Those pulling money into Gold are those who have some money (real one) and are hiding it.

Silver will be the money for the poors, as it is heavier to carry (for the same amount of money).

jackbooted gauleiter's picture

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear... and there has never been a miscarriage of justice anywhere, ever.

ZeroHedgeFan's picture

Yep it sounds like a control. They want to be able to track where the gold comes/goes and who own them. I hope this plot fails. People deserve to have their own privacy.

RockyRacoon's picture

Employing atomic weapons in the vicinity of this "blood mining" could produce isotopes that would be easy to track!   Hey, I like that idea.

Downtoolong's picture

"It's all about control". Exactly. That’s the sad truth of it. We might just as well be using the mass of the sun as a store of wealth instead of gold, because, not even the ability to physically possess something has value anymore. It’s all about gaining fiat power to “let it be done” simply because “I say so”.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

@ Jack M,

Yes, I agree it's all about control.  But, this effort will fail.  People want gold, and they want it away from the eyes of .gov.

This may be the start of making it harder to get gold and/or raise the price.

If you do not own gold, you should start ASAP!

RockyRacoon's picture

See my isotope tracking idea above.   Nuke 'em!

Robslob's picture

If we got where the money went with QE 2 wrong then there are only questions Tyler.

Gordon Freeman's picture

I predict this will fizzle like a wet firecracker.  Who gives a fuck about the World Gold Council?!?  

Gold is gold is gold...