World Gold Council (WGC) member companies directly contributed $57.1-billion to host economies in 2021, says the WGC’s ‘Social and Economic Contribution of Gold Mining’ report that was released this month.
Of the total, $35.4-billion (62%) of payments were made to in-country suppliers, $11.7-billion (21%) in employee wages and $10-billion (17%) in payments to governments.
China, with more than 67 000 employees and contractors, recorded the highest contributions with a total of $8.53-billion. That was followed by Australia, fielding 14 689 employees and contractors, which was paid over $8.07-billion.
Canada, with 21 243 employees and contractors, was paid $7.44-billion, while the US, with 17 604 employees and contractors, was paid $6.15-billion.
South Africa, with the second highest volume of employees and contractors totalling 41 065 individuals, was paid $1.06-billion.
Of the total, over $297-million in payments were made to local communities and $154.8-million to indigenous groups in the 37 countries that host WGC member operations, where almost 250 000 employees and over 140 000 contractors are employed.
The WGC notes that, for every direct job in the gold mining industry, six indirect jobs benefit through the supply chain, and almost ten more if induced jobs are included.
Further, the WGC reports that recent member company efforts to train and develop localised skills, as opposed to bringing in expatriates, has led to 95% of employees coming from host countries.
Of a total WGC member company workforce of 386 984 individuals, 233 915 are nationals while 12 356 are expatriates.
In terms of gender diversity, 16% of the total workforce is female, with 38 386 individuals; while executive leadership positions are occupied by 50 women (17%). Boards of directors are more diverse, with 76 women holding such positions, making up 27% representation.