Saturday, July 14, 2012


LONDON - The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) announced today that Rio Tinto, the leading international mining group headquartered in the UK and a Founder Member of the Council, is the first mining company to achieve certification by meeting the highest ethical, social and environmental standards established by the RJC’s Member Certification system.

The certification, which follows an independent audit, covers Rio Tinto’s diamond mines; Diavik in Canada, Argyle in Western Australia and Murowa in Zimbabwe; and Kennecott Utah Copper (KUC) which produces gold and silver used in the jewellery industry.

“RJC warmly congratulates Rio Tinto on becoming the first certified mining company. Rio Tinto’s RJC Member Certification results from a successful verification assessment conducted by KPMG, one of the independent third-party auditing firms accredited to the RJC’s Member Certification system. Rio Tinto currently occupies a unique position within the international mining industry of being the only certified gold and diamond miner,” says Michael Rae, RJC’s Chief Executive Officer.

Harry Kenyon-Slaney, Rio Tinto’s chief executive, Diamonds and Minerals, says, “We support stakeholders’ demands for greater transparency and appreciate that people want to know that the jewellery they buy has been mined responsibly and ethically. As a founding member of the RJC, Rio Tinto is proud that our commitment to sustainability, integrity and environmental stewardship has been recognised and that we are the first mining company to receive this recognition from the RJC.”

Neither Rio Tinto’s Bunder diamond project in India nor Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia have been included within the audit because they are not yet in commercial production and don’t supply the jewellery industry. Rio Tinto has committed to the RJC that both projects are being developed in accordance with responsible ethical, social and environmental practices which respect human rights, in line with Rio Tinto’s own internal policies and processes. These policies and processes are themselves aligned with the RJC’s Code of Practice.

About RJC

The Responsible Jewellery Council is an international not-for-profit organisation bringing together more than 370 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.

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.

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