Mining and Protected Areas: Position Statement

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ICMM company members recognise the tensions that exist around access to, and competing uses of, land. In this Position Statement ICMM addresses the importance of biodiversity conservation, the need for properly designated and managed systems of protected areas and integrated approaches to land use planning.

Relationship between the ICMM Mining Principles and Position Statements

All ICMM company members are expected to implement ICMM's Mining Principles as a condition of membership. Incorporating comprehensive environmental, social and governance requirements, robust site-level validation of performance expectations and credible assurance of corporate sustainability reports, ICMM’s Mining Principles seek to maximise benefits to host communities and minimise negative impacts to effectively manage societal challenges.

Principles of particular relevance to mining and protected areas are:


    Pursue continual improvement in environmental performance issues, such as water stewardship, energy use and climate change.

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    Contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and integrated approaches to land-use planning.

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Since 2003, Position Statements have been developed to clearly articulate member commitments on a number of critical industry challenges. Position Statements are endorsed by the ICMM Council and include specific commitments that members must implement, alongside the Performance Expectations.

This Position Statement sets out ICMM company members’ approaches to mining and protected areas, not to explore or mine in World Heritage properties and to working with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to address application issues and to strengthen the IUCN system of protected areas categorisation.

Recognition statements

ICMM members recognise:


In addition to existing commitments under the ICMM Mining Principles, ICMM company members commit to being part of the solution by:

  1. Respect legally designated protected areas and ensure that any new operations or changes to existing operations are not incompatible with the value for which they were designated.
  2. Not explore or mine in World Heritage properties. All possible steps will be taken to ensure that existing operations in World Heritage properties as well as existing and future operations adjacent to World Heritage properties are not incompatible with the outstanding universal value for which these properties are listed and do not put the integrity of these properties at risk.
  3. To ensure that potential adverse impacts on biodiversity from new operations or changes to existing operations are adequately addressed throughout the project cycle and that the mitigation hierarchy is applied.
  4. Through ICMM, work with IUCN, governments, intergovernmental organisations, development and conservation NGOs and others to develop transparent, inclusive, informed and equitable decision-making processes and assessment tools that better integrate biodiversity conservation, protected areas and mining into land-use planning and management strategies, including ‘no-go’ areas.
  5. Through ICMM, work with IUCN and others in developing best practice guidance to enhance industry’s contribution to biodiversity conservation.