17 June 2022

ICMM accelerates responsible mining agenda on 20-year anniversary

This week, ICMM marks 20 years since the Toronto Declaration, the process which set out the founding principles of the organisation. It marks the occasion with 'an ambitious new strategy for the next three years'.

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Through this strategy, and working in collaboration with others, ICMM is aiming for 'breakthrough progress on environmental resilience, social performance, governance and transparency, and innovation – in pursuit of a safe, just and sustainable world enabled by responsibly produced metals and minerals'. 

ICMM's three-year strategy involves 12 major initiatives across four key areas:

  • Environmental resilience – delivering its net zero commitment announced in 2021, further improving water management at site-level, and maximising the industry's contribution to a nature positive future.
  • Social performance – playing a leading role in creating diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces and societies; further strengthening approaches to upholding and enhancing human rights, particularly the rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples; and supporting the resilience of communities to thrive in a changing, climate-impacted world.
  • Governance and transparency – leading the convergence of ESG standards; supporting the maximisation of benefits of mining for host countries through disclosure and transparency; enhancing practices for responsible and sustainable mine closure; and driving implementation of the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management across the industry.
  • Innovation – accelerating innovation in tailings to reduce waste; supporting the development of a circular economy; and pursuing a step-change in eliminating fatalities towards the goal of zero harm.

Rohitesh Dhawan, President and Chief Executive Officer, ICMM, says, 'For the world at large, the next three years will shape the outlook for the next 30. To achieve a net zero economy by 2050, decarbonisation technologies must be deployed at an unprecedented scale in the near term. Metals and minerals are the backbone of these solutions and are in many cases in short supply, but it is our fundamental belief 'how' these are produced is as, if not more important, than 'how much'.

'ICMM's strategy sets an ambitious agenda that focuses on issues where the mining industry can make the biggest contributions related to society's greatest challenges.'

ICMM is also announcing updates to the Mining Principles that aim to support improved company performance on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). It says, 'These important updates include reinforcing the integral role of DEI to sustainable development; additional actions to eliminate all forms of harassment and unfair discrimination from our workplaces; proactive steps to achieve gender equality and the unincumbered participation of all peoples; and cementing the importance of psychological safety alongside physical health and safety in our efforts to achieve zero harm.'

Dhawan adds, 'Discrimination, harassment and assault of any kind have no place in the mining industry or anywhere else in society. We recognise that the change starts with us, especially since we as an industry have not yet managed to build truly diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces.

'The updates to our Mining Principles – the standards that guide everyday practice for our members – are a critical step in improving performance. But we will not stop here. ICMM will continue to work together and with external stakeholders to eliminate all forms of bullying, harassment and unfair discrimination from our workplaces and societies.'

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