Basel Gold Day

Summary of the virtual Basel Gold Day event on 9 October 2020: PDF

It is no secret that the provenance of gold is in many cases highly problematic. Human rights are frequently violated in mining. Industrial standards have been written, but their implementation remains uncertain. Refineries and downstream entities often cannot trace the gold back to its origin, especially where multiple small-scale mines are at the origin of the supply chain. However, industrial mining also has its problems (in particular licenses obtained through corruption, land grabbing, toxic waste, conflict with local communities).

Increasingly, consumers are demanding “clean” gold. They don’t want to run the risk that the gold for their wedding ring, for example, has been mined by children. How can we, after years of talk, finally secure a clean supply chain? And how do we cope with the insufficient supply of reliably mined gold? This workshop deliberately does not focus on either large-scale mining or on artisanal and small-scale mining – its goal is to explore how to improve the supply of sound gold. Its main focus is the consumer interest.

Basel hosts the worldwide jewellery and watchmaking fair Baselworld, it is the place where the “central bank of central banks” – the Bank for International Settlements – has its head office. It is also the home of the Basel Institute on Governance, an organisation specialised in anti-corruption, good governance and Collective Action.

A 2019 book by Mark Pieth, Gold Laundering, highlighted some of the problems that the panelists will discuss during the workshop. For a brief overview of some of the main issues, read Mark Pieth’s quick guide to gold laundering. It's also available in Spanish (Guía rápida sobre el lavado de oro), French (Le guide rapide sur le blanchiment d’or) and and Portuguese (Guia rápido sobre branqueamento do ouro) on the Basel Institute's LEARN platform or as PDFs.


Time Agenda item  
14.00-14.20 Welcome / Keynote speech Mark Pieth, University of Basel
Karlheinz Baumann, Group Industry and Services Director Richemont International SA
Panel 1
Expectations of consumers and downstream entities
  • Do consumers ask the jeweler or watchmaker for clean gold?
  • Where do you source your gold?
  • Do you receive sufficient clean gold?
Chair: Gretta Fenner,
Basel Institute on Governance
Panel 2
Refineries: What can they do and where are their limits?
  • Do you know where your gold is from?
  • Should we boycott ASM?
  • The way out: collective action of the industry?
Chair: Sabrina Karib, Researcher
Panel 3
Mining: How to overcome the challenges at the mine
  • Major challenges in LSM
  • Major challenges in ASM
  • What can be done to improve the situation?
Chair: Louis Maréchal,
Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development
Wrap up session
Wrap up panel Chair: Mark Pieth, University of Basel

Last update: 05.10.2020


Baumann, Karlheinz

Group Industry & Services Director, Richemont

Karlheinz Baumann, graduated from the Technical University of Munich with a master degree in Physics, also holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He started his career as a McKinsey consultant in 1996 before becoming an Executive Director at the German automotive supplier Wilhelm Karmann GmbH in 2003. In 2008, Karlheinz joined the Richemont Group by assuming the position of COO at IWC.

Since August 2016, he has joined Richemont as the Group Industry & Services Director, in charge of Research & Innovation, Manufacturing, Customer Services and Supply Chain/Logistics and Security.

Bickham, Edward

Senior Adviser, World Gold Council

Edward Bickham has worked as a Senior Adviser to the World Gold Council on the development of the Conflict-Free Gold Standard (2010-13) and the creation of the Responsible Gold Mining Principles (since 2017) and on the interface between large-scale and artisanal and small-scale mining. He also advises a range of companies in the extractive sector on environmental, social and governance issues. He is a Trustee and Chair of the Programme Committee of Care International UK and was Chair of the Institute of Business Ethics (2014-2019).

Edward was Executive Vice President, External Affairs of Anglo American plc (2000-2009). Whilst in this role he played a prominent role in the development of the  Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (Advisory Group and Board Member 2004-13) and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. He is a Director of the International Cyanide Management Institute which oversees the implementation of the International Cyanide Management Code.

He was Special Adviser to the UK Foreign Secretary (1990-93) and Home Secretary (1985-88) and was also involved in the establishment of satellite broadcasting in the UK (1985-8) and was Deputy Chair and Managing Director, Corporate and Public Affairs, of Hill & Knowlton UK (1993-99). He graduated in law from Oxford University. In 1983 he was awarded the Robert Schuman Silver Medal for services to European unity.

Camino, Jose Ramon

Group General Counsel of Metalor

Jose Ramon CAMINO is a lawyer and member of the executive committee of the Swiss multinational Company Metalor Technologies, group that he joined in 2014 as Group General Counsel. He is responsible for the legal, compliance and communication’s affairs  for the Metalor Group. In his previous life he worked during 16 years with the US aluminum company Alcoa as President of the Spanish operations and European VP Legal & Corporate based in Geneva. Previously he worked as legal counsel for IBM Spain (Madrid) and IBM Eastern Europe based in Vienna. He started his career with the law firm Baker & Mckenzie in the Madrid office.  He has been included by Legal 500 in the General Counsel Power list of Switzerland 2019, 2018, 2016 & 2015 He has lived in Spain, France, Austria, USA and Switzerland and speaks Spanish, English and French.

Culillas, Diana

Secretary General, Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA)

Diana CulillasDiana started her professional path at the International Committee of the Red Cross in the context of the first Russian-Chechen conflict. She then spent 14 years in Africa, Asia and Middle East by being involved in different humanitarian projects. From 2008 to 2018, as the CSR Manager at Chopard Group, she established and oversaw numerous sourcing, environmental, work- life balance and philanthropic initiatives of the brand. Today, Diana leads the SBGA, a pioneering network of industry, finance and service providers representing Swiss gold industry, which supports sustainable development of artisanal small-scale miners and establishes responsible gold value chains from these operations to end market.

Fenner, Gretta

Managing Director

Gretta FennerGretta Fenner is the Managing Director of the Basel Institute on Governance, where she also holds the position of Director of the Institute’s International Centre for Asset Recovery. She has already held these positions from 2005 to 2008, during the founding years of the Institute, and has joined the Institute again in late 2011 after three years in Australia and Oxford, UK.

During these intermittent years, she primarily worked as freelance consultant advising governments, donors, international organisations and multinational corporations from around the world in governance and anti-corruption related topics as well as organisational change and development processes and policy design. Prior to joining the Basel Institute, from 2000 to 2005, Gretta worked at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris as the organisation’s manager for anti-corruption programmes in the Asia-Pacific region where she played a key role in establishing the ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia-Pacific.

Gretta Fenner is a political scientist by training and holds bachelor and master degrees from the Otto-Suhr-Institute at the Free University Berlin, Germany, and the Paris Institute for Political Science ("Sciences Po Paris"), France. In 2010, she further completed an MBA at the Curtin University Graduate School of Business, Australia.

Hruschka, Felix

Alliance for Responsible Mining

Felix Hruschka is a mining engineer with a PhD in mineral economics. He is based in Austria and provides consulting services through his company since 1992. Long-term assignments in Ecuador and Peru, as resident project manager of Swiss-funded development projects in the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector from 1993 to 2006, provided a sound basis of expertise on a wide range of development issues of the minerals sector. Since 2004 these long-term projects became increasingly accompanied and enriched by short-term consultancies in Asia, Latin America and Africa on behalf of bi- and multilateral development agencies, civil society organizations, and the private sector. In 2005, the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) invited Felix to join its Technical Committee for the development of “Standard ZERO”, the first prototype standard for responsible artisanal gold mining. In 2007 he was appointed advisor to the board and for many years he acted as ARM’s Standards Director, leading the development of the FAIRMINED Standard and the CRAFT Code. In 2015 Felix was elected member of the Board of Directors, and since September 2018 he serves as Chair of the Board.

Karib, Sabrina

Sabrina Karib joined a Swiss refinery in April 2015 as a Senior Legal and Compliance counsel. Prior to this, she has been working for FIFA TMS and later for a law firm based in Geneva. She studied in France and in the UK, where she obtained a LLM in Business Law. Given her professional experience and her interest for precious metal supply chains, she decided to enroll for a PhD at the Basel University. The topic of her research is “Reconsidering the effectiveness of existing standards for responsible supply chains of gold”.

Kippenberg, Juliane

Children's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch

KippenbergJuliane Kippenberg is an associate director in the Children's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch. She began working at Human Rights Watch in 1999. For more than 20 years, she has carried out human rights research on a wide range of issues. One of her areas of expertise is child labor in artisanal gold mining and the responsibility of companies.  She has also conducted extensive research and advocacy on sexual violence in the armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and on the child's right to health care. From 1999 to 2005, Kippenberg led a project for the protection and capacity building of Central African nongovernmental organizations. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, she worked as campaigner at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International. She holds a master's degree in understanding and securing human rights from the University of London, and graduate degrees in African history and French from the University of Hamburg, Germany.

Liefferink, Mariette

Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE)

Mariette Liefferink is the CEO of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE), which is widely recognized as the most prominent of the environmental activist stakeholders in the South African mining industry. The FSE was a finalist in the 2019/2020 NSTF-South 32 Awards: “In recognition of an outstanding contribution to science, engineering, technology and innovation.”

Liefferink was listed as one of the 100 most influential people in Africa’s Mining Industry and was the main character of the acclaimed Jozi Gold Documentary Film. She was awarded numerous awards for her work including the Chancellor’s Medal of the North West University in 2009, the Sustainability Leadership Award (Dubai) in 2017, the SAB Environmentalist of the Year in 2013, the Enviropaedia Eco-Warrior Award in 2011.

Liefferink is an external moderator and reviewer of academic papers, guest lecturer and associate researcher at a number of Universities and academic institutions. She is also a member of numerous governmental task teams, steering committees, advisory committees, Boards, forums and expert task teams. Her papers have been published in national and international academic journals and books and she has contributed to dozens of scientific research projects and reports.

Mariette Liefferink has provided this document with background information.

Maréchal, Louis

Centre for Responsible Business Conduct of the OECD

Louis Maréchal joined the Centre for Responsible Business Conduct of the OECD in September 2014. He specifically works on projects related to the implementation of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.

Prior to joining the OECD, Louis Maréchal worked for four years with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France on issues related to transparency and governance in the mining sector, and security of supply of strategic metals. He started his career with a strategic consultancy firm focusing on the defence and extractives industries.

Louis Maréchal holds a master’s degree in international relations, with a specialization in the defence industry.

McLaren, Susannah

Compliance & Responsible Sourcing Manager, LBMA

Susannah McLaren manages the LBMA’s Responsible Sourcing Programme for precious metals, which is mandatory for all Good Delivery List Refiners. She is a responsible sourcing, human rights and sustainability expert, with over 16 years' in-house and consultancy experience in the field. Prior to joining the LBMA, Susannah worked for Shift - the leading centre of expertise on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights - where she advised multinationals serious about human rights. Susannah previously spent ten years employed with global engineering services provider to the extractives and infrastructure markets. Susannah has also served on the Advisory Group to the UK Network of the UN Global Compact and as Vice Chair of Building Responsibly, a group of leading engineering and construction companies working together to raise the bar in promoting the rights and welfare of workers across the industry.

Merkle, Guya

VIERI Fine Jewellery / Earthbeat Foundation

Guya Merkle is the founder of the sustainable jewelry label VIERI Fine Jewellery and the Earthbeat Foundation, as well as initiator of the World Gold Day

Through her work and the projects and initiatives she has created, the founder wants to draw attention to the grievances and inequalities in the mining of raw materials and their effects. She not only tries to re-define luxury in a new and true way, but also tries to show that each of our decisions has a direct impact on the source. Her company has put impact before profit, making the world not only a better place but also a more sustainable place. For her, circular economy is the future, especially when it comes to human rights and the exploitation of our environment. Therefore, her initiatives are above all driving  to approach products in an innovative and resource-saving way, and further more to empower the people who are least heard - especially when it comes to our value chains.
She lives and works in Berlin

Missbach, Andreas

Public Eye

Dr. Andreas Missbach heads the Commodities, Trade and Finance Department and is Joint Managing Director of Public Eye. He is a social scientist with a Ph.D on the North-South conflict in the UN Climate Change negotiations. Before joining Public Eye (formerly Berne Declaration) he was Environmental and Foreign Folicy editor of a Swiss weekly newspaper. At Public Eye he initially focused on the development and human rights related aspects of Swiss banks and of Switzerland’s role as a tax haven. In 2011 together with a team of co-authors Andreas Missbach published “Commodities – Switzerland’s most dangerous business”, the first book about the commodity trading business in Switzerland. The book triggered a debate in Switzerland and beyond about Switzerland’s role and its responsibilities as a global trading hub. His team has published a series of investigative reports on the questionable practices of Swiss commodity trading companies as well as issuing policy proposals to regulate this sector for the common good. Andreas Missbach is also a member of the committee that launched the Responsible Business Initiative, a referendum to be voted by the Swiss population in 2020.

Public Eye is a Swiss non-governmental organisation with 25,000 members. Through its research and campaigning, Public Eye advocates for the respect of human rights throughout the world, and fights injustices with a significant link to Switzerland.

Pieth, Mark

Criminal Law and Criminology at the University of Basel in Switzerland

PiethMark Pieth is since 1993 Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology at the University of Basel in Switzerland. He has served twice as Dean of the Basel Law School. In 2014 he has been presented with an honorary doctorate by Sussex University, UK. As an academic he has published extensively in the areas of economic crime, criminal law, criminal procedure and sanctioning.
From 1989 to 1993, Mark Pieth was Head of Section on Economic and Organised Crime at the Swiss Federal Office of Justice. During this time he was a Member of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF). From 1990 to 2013 he chaired the OECD Working Group on Bribery. In 2004 and 2005 he was a Member of the Independent Inquiry Committee into the UN’s Oil-for-Food Programme in Iraq (“Volcker Committee”). From autumn 2008 to summer 2014 he was a Member of the Independent Advisory Board of The World Bank Group (IAB). Mark Pieth has from November 2011 until the end of 2013 chaired the Independent Governance Committee (IGC) to oversee the reform process of FIFA. From 2013 to 2016 he was Chairman of the Sanction Appeals Board of the African Development Bank (AfDB). He was member of the Independent Committee to revise the practices of the legal and financial industry in Panama. As of spring 2017 he is a Member of the Vetting Panel of the IAAF and he has been asked to join the Expert Advisory Group on Transparency of the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB/BID).
Mark Pieth is the founder and Chair of the Basel Institute on Governance (BIG). In this capacity he has co-initiated several collective actions, including the Wolfsberg Banking Group and the WEF’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI).

Schuler, Andreas

Basler Kantonalbank

After more than 20 years in foreign exchange and precious metals trading at domestic and foreign banks, Andreas Schuler switched to Basler Kantonalbank in 2013 with the task of reorganizing the precious metals business. The focus was on both the retail business and the expansion of the interbank business. The introduction of corporate brand gold products (project responsibility) was just as successful as the partnership-based cooperation in the production of gold bars with 4 more cantonal banks. Another milestone was the introduction of Fairtrade Gold at the beginning of 2019. Andreas Schuler, born in 1968, lives in Basel.

Van der Veken, Iris

Executive Director for Responsible Jewellery Council

van der vekenIris has a background in law and international relations. A sustainability pioneer, leadership executive, humanitarian, and coalition-builder, with more than 20 years of global experience working in fast-paced environments including technology, diamonds, jewellery, fashion, and government. She initiated and Chaired the United Nations Global Compact Network Belgium. She was honoured by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs for her leadership role in initiating the Global Compact Network Belgium and for her work on promoting corporate social responsibility in Belgium and abroad with a focus on human rights including children’s rights and the role of business. Iris is committed to the agenda of gender equality. She was appointed as RJC Executive Director in March 2019 and is dedicated to a ‘members first’ strategy and contributing towards the 2030 agenda and the 17 Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). She is member of the Board of ISEAL and the Jewellers Vigilance Committee. Iris has been an active volunteer for the Special Olympics for over 30 years. She ran the NY marathon for UNICEF.

Wiedmer, Christoph

Society for Threatened Peoples, Co-Director

WiedmerChristoph Wiedmer studied secondary school teacher at the University of Basel and got the MBA for non-profit organisations at the University of Fribourg. He is the co-director of the Society for Threatened Peoples Switzerland (STP) since 2006. Prior to joining STP he campaigned 14 years for Greenpeace. STP campaigns for the rights of minorities and of indigenous peoples. One focus is the right to the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous and traditional communities for all projects that affect their way of living Field visits and cooperation with communities include indigenous communities in the Congo Basin, the Amazon Basin, the Andes, in North America and Scandinavia. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Swiss National Contact Point of OECD.

Wild, Christoph

University of Applied Sciences Zurich (HWV ZH)

Christoph Wild is a business economist from the University of Applied Sciences Zurich (HWV ZH) and holds a SME diploma from the University of St. Gallen (HSG).
Christoph Wild has been working with Argor-Heraeus since 1988. Until 2013 as CFO and since January 2014 as CEO. He is responsible for the worldwide business of Argor-Heraeus.
From 1999 until the complete takeover of Argor shares by Heraeus Precious Metals in July 2017, he was a co-partner of Argor-Heraeus. Since mid-2017, he is heading the Argor-Heraeus business line within the Global Business Unit Heraeus Precious Metals.