The Swiss government has approved a change in how data on gold trade is compiled in an effort to reduce abuses in the precious metals' market.

The governing Federal Council of ministers, which includes the president, says figures on gold imports and exports will be broken down by country starting next year.

The seven-member Council said in a statement Friday the change is intended to comply with international standards "and thereby contribute to transparency in precious metals trading."

An Associated Press investigation in 2008 involving visits to six bush mines in three West African countries and interviews with more than 150 child miners found gold mined by children was bought by itinerant traders to Mali's capital city and then to Switzerland, where it entered world markets.