ICMM company members commit to pursue continual improvement in environmental performance issues, such as water stewardship, energy use and climate change.
Industry has a responsibility to be proactive in contributing practical solutions to the significant environmental challenges facing society. ICMM members adopt practices and approaches that support continuous improvement in environmental performance to manage the adverse impacts of operations and deliver sustainable benefits for people and the planet.
Developed with extensive input from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international organisations and academics, our Mining Principles establish baseline performance expectations for a responsible mining and metals industry. ICMM's Mining Principles include five Performance Expectations under Principle 6: Environmental Performance.
6.1: Plan for closure
6.2: Implement water stewardship practices
6.3: Effectively manage tailings
6.4: Prevent pollution and manage releases and waste
6.5: Improve energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions
About ICMM's Mining Principles
ICMM’s Mining Principles strengthen social and environmental requirements, on issues such as labour rights, resettlement, gender, access to grievance mechanisms, mine closure, pollution and waste.
Supporting global goals
As momentum behind the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) continues to grow, there is mounting pressure on the private sector to support the delivery of a wide variety of development objectives. ICMM’s Mining Principles can support the mining and metals industry in addressing climate change, ending poverty and tackling rising inequalities.
Each SDG connects with or can be directly influenced by ICMM’s Mining Principles. Unlike many other sectors, there is no primary point of connection between mining and a single SDG. Instead, operations have the extraordinary potential to contribute to several goals at once. The contribution mining products to almost every aspect of life is arguably becoming more important than ever – with metals and minerals enabling the innovations needed to deliver pathways to a greener, safer and more sustainable future.
1. As of 5 August 2020, all ICMM members committed to implement the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM). All tailings facilities operated by members with “Extreme” or “Very high” potential consequences will be in conformance with the Standard by 5 August 2023. All other tailings facilities operated by members not in a state of safe closure will be in conformance with the Standard by 5 August 2025.
2. Riverine tailings, freshwater lake and/or shallow marine tailings disposal may be considered only if deemed to be the most environmentally and socially sound alternative, based on an objective and rigorous environmental and social impact assessment of tailings management alternatives. The scope of the assessment should be agreed between the company member and the host government.