OUR GOLD SOURCING
Because of Cartier's exceptional position in the jewelry world, we believe that our responsibilities with respect to society encompass not only our own operations and our entire supply chain but also involve a broader role in seeking to make a difference in the jewelry industry at large – particularly in the mining and production of precious metals and minerals.
Over the past few years we have sought to better understand the challenges which our industry faces in order to find relevant solutions to issues associated with large scale-extraction as well as artisanal mining of precious metals.
These include social and environmental issues, and in some cases, distressing accounts of human rights abuse. While these types of issues are not exclusive to the jewelry supply chain and certainly will not be resolved by the industry alone, without the involvement and support of government authorities, our industry must rise to the challenge – a gift of jewelry is a particularly symbolic one, and our customers trust us to ensure that their purchase lives up to its sparkle.
At Cartier, our gold suppliers have unequivocally committed, in writing, to responsible gold sourcing practices, as described by the Responsible Jewellery Council in its Code of Practices. They have also pledged to implement every possible measure, within their operations and sphere of influence, to prevent gold which may be used to finance human rights violations from entering the watch and jewelry supply chain, particularly when it comes to the gold products they supply to us. Our suppliers are now required to join the RJC and have their operations certified to its Code of Practices, which covers human rights, ethical, social and environmental performance.
GOLDLAKE / EUROCANTERA
Above and beyond our commitment to large-scale progress via the RJC, Cartier also seeks to spotlight and reward pioneers and visionaries in the gold-mining industry. We see it as a means to send a strong message that there is a real market for improved practices, to encourage others to follow in our footsteps, and to help effect change in the industry.
With these goals in minds, in September 2009 we signed an agreement with Goldlake, a family-owned Italian group that operates a model mine in Honduras. Although we currently purchase the entire output of Goldlake's Eurocantera mine, it represents but a fraction of our gold sourcing. We hope to see our agreement with Goldlake set an industry-wide example and encourage the emergence of alternative gold-mining models that can secure a meaningful social and environmental impact.
For further information on Eurocantera, see the Goldlake company overview and website: www.goldlake.co.uk
Goldlake's Eurocantera mine, located in central Honduras, is an innovative gold-mining business committed to operating to high ethical, social and environmental standards. Eurocantera is an integrated operation combining:
- an alluvial gold mine with deposits that are close to the surface and require no hard-rock blasting and with a cyanide-free zero-discharge extraction process which uses only water;
- a small-scale community mining group which pans gold using traditional mercury-free techniques.
The community producer group is responsible for approximately one third of Eurocantera's output.
Among Eurocantera's many strong points:
- chemical-free extraction processes and technology
- a zero-discharge water-management system
- 100% recycling of waste material - such as gravel and clay - from mining
- a reforestation program
- a clinic providing free health services to Eurocantera's employees as well as the community
- the creation of much needed road infrastructure for isolated villages
- training and education programs for artisanal miners on how they can operate responsibly and safely, along with access to free equipment, accounting support services, and a vitally-needed path to market
As part of its commitment to continuous improvement, Cartier constantly strives to bring about change in the gold industry through initiatives designed to benefit its own supply chain and secure improvements in practices industry-wide.