This page gives a general overview of the workshop which will take place on May 2nd and 3rd, 2023 at University of Lausanne . For more information, click on the blue links.


The energy transition goes hand in hand with a growing demand for metals, leading to a depletion of deposits, which are becoming technically more difficult and expensive to exploit. In order to meet this growing demand and pressure, a strong increase in illegal metal production is to be expected. This will mainly affect the mining countries, which are also facing governance problems and a lack of means to enforce social and environmental rules.

In the gold supply chain, there is already a rush to the mining sector, encouraged by the soaring price. Illegal operations in particular are booming, as the economic opportunities in mining seem attractive to a marginalised and impoverished population. It is precisely these operations that are the least likely to comply with standards, which are often difficult to achieve and accessible due to cost and complexity. The traceability of raw materials and transparency in the supply chain is and will become a major issue for our societies that are greedy for technical metals. It is essential in mining countries so that governments can control the conditions of production, and so that their operators can access a legal supply chain. For the countries where the metals are processed, it enables them to protect themselves from reputational risks.

The aim of the proposed international workshop is to contribute to the debate on the use of metals, and more particularly on their traceability, in order to guarantee sustainable mining that respects the environment and human beings. Bringing together scientists from different disciplines and stakeholders from Switzerland and abroad, industrialists, representatives of the political world and civil society and international institutions, this workshop aims to confront scientific knowledge, technical solutions and constraints, social and political expectations and institutional obstacles on this issue.

The workshop will focus on gold, one of the only metals for which several types of traceability tools currently exist. The aim is to evaluate and discuss several technical and institutional solutions under debate. The exchanges will be structured around 3 questions:

  1. What traceability tools already exist? What needs do they meet?
  2. What does gold traceability bring to the various stakeholders, in Switzerland and in the producing countries? What are the technical, institutional and political obstacles to its implementation?
  3. How can traceability tools be institutionalised?


Palais de Rumine, Lausanne

Idheap, University of Lausanne



Barbara Beck [email protected]

+41 76 398 1228

Organisation committee

Scientific committee


Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023