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About mining

Almost all the metals and minerals we need for everyday life are mined from the Earth’s crust.

Unlike other industries, mining cannot freely choose where it operates; it can only take place in areas where minerals and metals are concentrated. This can mean operating in sensitive or challenging environments; a trend that looks set to continue as easier to reach deposits run out. Mining ore and then extracting minerals and metals from it is a complex process, which requires a substantial investment in both expertise and infrastructure. It can take up to ten years, and in some cases longer, to go from the initial discovery of a deposit to first mine production.

Focus areas

Metals and minerals

There are thought to be well over 4,000 different minerals, many of which contain metallic elements.

Why we need mining

Nearly every mineral and metal in use today is the product of some form of mining. And demand is increasing.

Operating mines

Mining and metal production has evolved from being a tough and dirty activity to a high-technology operation.

ICMM's Mining Principles

Supporting global goals