ENVIRONMENT

ICMM tightens ESG expectations for miners

In line with increasing scrutiny of mining’s impact on host communities, society and the environment, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) is strengthening its membership requirements

Staff reporter
Alongside a commitment to implement the mandatory requirements of the Mining Principles, company members are required to publicly report on their sustainability performance against the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards

Alongside a commitment to implement the mandatory requirements of the Mining Principles, company members are required to publicly report on their sustainability performance against the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards

The enhanced ICMM ‘Mining Principles' define environmental, social and governance (ESG) best practice and will require site-level validation of all assets and transparent disclosure of outcomes.

Validation of these performance expectations will involve a mix of self-assessments and reviews by independent third parties.

ICMM said its principles were aligned with the objectives of other responsible sourcing initiatives, establishing "a high bar for sustainability practices that many of [its] member companies currently apply to manage a broad range of sustainability issues at the operational level".

As a condition of membership for ICMM company members, the principles will apply to roughly 650 assets in more than 50 countries.

ICMM COO Aidan Davy said: "Societal expectations of the mining industry encompass a broad range of environmental, social and governance challenges. Our aim has been to develop a holistic set of requirements that establish a benchmark for responsible mining practices."

ICMM originally published its 10 principles for sustainable development in 2003. Building on this, in early April 2018, ICMM launched a global public consultation on the introduction of a set of performance expectations for how members should be expected to manage a broad range of sustainability issues. The resulting Mining Principles strengthen social and environmental requirements on issues such as labour rights, resettlement, gender, access to grievance mechanisms, mine closure, pollution and waste.

ICMM is currently also involved in the Global Tailings Review, which is creating a global standard for safer tailings management. Brazilian iron ore miner Vale, which suffered a catastrophic tailings dam failure last year, is still among the organisation's members.

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