Council to lead sustainable development drive

20th June 2001 By: Unknown

The Global Mining Initiative (GMI) has taken a significant step towards one of its key goals of establishing the institutional arrangements that will serve the mining industry’s transition to sustainable development. This is the formation of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), whose task it will be to take the lead on sustainable development issues. The ICMM signals a commitment to bring about changed behaviours in the industry, a task which requires consistent high-level leadership.

The board and members of the industry’s existing global representative organisation, the International Council on Metals and the Environment (ICME) agreed to broaden the ICME’s mandate by forming ICMM. The ICMM’s mission, besides providing leadership in meeting the challenges of sustainable development, is to improve social and environmental performance and act as a focus of engagement with others in the global context.

The council of the ICMM will include the chairperson or CEOs of major mining companies and the office-bearers of key existing national, regional and commodity industry associations.

Its first council meeting is scheduled for October.

The GMI is regarded as an agent for change for mining, minerals, metals and sustainable development and brings together many of the world's largest mining and minerals companies. Although the name of the initiative focuses on mining, and although it cannot cover all questions to the same degree of detail, the GMI is concerned with the full range of issues in the mining, minerals and metals cycles, including: access to land and resources; exploration; project development and secondary development impacts; governance of mining projects, their place in social and economic development, and issues of capacity building; rent capture and distribution; mining operations; stewardship of resources such as water and biodiversity; energy use; management of waste; social and environmental aspects of mine closure; primary and subsequent stages of processing; the trade in materials produced by mining; and how those materials are used, their consumption, recycling and disposal.

This leadership exercise aims to ensure that an industry which is essential to the well-being of a changing world is responsive to global needs and challenges.

The initiative will include a number of activities leading up to a global conference on mining and sustainable development in May 2002. This conference will be a significant contribution to the events that will mark the tenth anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit. The objective is to reach a clearer definition and understanding of the positive part the mining and minerals industry can play in making the transition to sustainable patterns of economic development.

The companies most closely involved in the initiative are members of the Mining and Minerals Working Group of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and include Anglo American, BHP, Billiton, Codelco, Newmont, Noranda, Phelps Dodge, Placer Dome, Rio Tinto and WMC.