RJC announces Rio Tinto's Kennecott Refinery has achieved Chain-of-Custody certification

LONDON - The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) announced today at Ethical Corporation's 8th Annual Sustainable Supply Chain Summit that Rio Tinto Kennecott’s Gold Refinery, in Utah USA, has been certified against the RJC Chain-of-Custody (CoC) Standard. This certifies that gold produced by Kennecott is conflict-free and responsibly produced at each step of the supply chain. This marks RJC’s seventh CoC Certification and the first for a mining company. 

“RJC is delighted to congratulate Rio Tinto Kennecott on achieving the CoC Certification, which means it has applied appropriate standards for managing its gold supply chain in addition to standards for human rights, labor, environmental impact, and business ethics, as articulated in the RJC Code of Practices,” said Michael Rae, RJC’s Chief Executive Officer. 

“Rio Tinto is pleased that Kennecott has achieved the RJC’s Chain of Custody Certification for Conflict Free Minerals,” said Vania Grandi, Rio Tinto’s VP of Marketing and Sales of Precious Metals. “It reinforces our commitment to responsible mining and metals production and further strengthens our standards and systems for maintaining integrity in our supply chain.” 

Kennecott is a fully integrated mining, concentrating, smelting and refining company committed to sustainable development. The gold refinery is part of Kennecott’s operations and produces gold as a by-product of the copper refining process. Ore from The Bingham Canyon mine is extracted and milled into concentrate. The concentrate is processed in a smelter to produce copper anodes, which are further refined into copper cathodes. Gold, silver, and other precious metals are captured in the electrolytic slime during the copper refining process. The electrolytic slime is transferred to the gold refinery, where Kennecott produces high purity (Grade 99.99) gold bars. 

The 110-year-old Bingham Canyon Mine has been one of the top producing copper mines in the world with production at more than 19 million tons. In 2012, Kennecott produced 179,317 tons of copper, 279,200 ounces of gold, 2.4 million ounces of silver, and 20 million pounds of molybdenum. The mine is included in Rio Tinto’s Certification against the RJC Code of Practices, providing assurance for responsible mining practices. 

Rio Tinto's CoC Certification results from a successful audit conducted by Michèle Brülhart from Resource Consulting Services Limited, an international audit firm accredited by RJC. 

For further information please contact: 

Madalina Grigorie, Communications Co-ordinator, Responsible Jewellery Council 
Telephone + 44 (0)20 7836 6376, madalina.grigorie@responsiblejewellery.com 

Kyle Bennett, Senior Advisor, Communications, Rio Tinto Kennecott 
Telephone +1 (801) 349-8053, kyle.bennett@riotinto.com 

About RJC 

The Responsible Jewellery Council is an international not-for-profit organisation bringing together more than 440 member companies. RJC and its Members are committed to promoting responsible ethical, human rights, social and environmental practices in a transparent and accountable manner throughout the jewellery industry from mine to retail. This commitment aims to reinforce consumer and stakeholder confidence in diamond, gold and platinum metals jewellery products. The RJC has developed the RJC Member Certification system which applies to all Members’ businesses that contribute to the diamond, gold and platinum metals jewellery supply chain. All Certified Members of the RJC are audited by accredited, third party auditors to verify their conformance with the RJC’s Code of Practices. A voluntary Chain-of-Custody Standard has also been developed for gold and platinum group metals. 

The RJC is a Full Member of the ISEAL Alliance – the global association for sustainability standards. For more information on RJC Members, Certification, and Standards please visit www.responsiblejewellery.com

About Rio Tinto 

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and New York Stock Exchange listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. 

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium, gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide and salt) and iron ore. Activities span the world and are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America. More information on www.riotinto.com 

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