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Annual Report, 2003

13 October 2003

I am pleased to report that for all the difficult circumstances we faced last October, 2003 has been a busy and productive year for the ICMM.

We now have a corporate membership of 15 of the world’s largest mining and metal producing companies, who have made a long-term commitment to working collectively in the ICMM alongside the 27 national and commodity association members. These companies recognise that only by continually demonstrating its ability to contribute to sustainable development, can the industry build the trust and respect necessary to ensure its continued access to land, capital and markets.

The commitment of our members to the work of the ICMM continues to be CEO-led. This has helped us to build credibly on the success of both the GMI, as a change agent, and the MMSD.

With a focused work programme, this year has witnessed some significant achievements. Two that stand out are the agreement by the membership to report against ten principles on Sustainable Development; and the signing, in conjunction with the World Conservation Union (IUCN), of a ‘No-go’ pledge on mining and exploration in World Heritage Sites. The latter was a first for any industry sector, and represents the latest milestone in our dialogue with the conservation community. Members have probably seen that Shell announced a similar agreement with IUCN shortly after our announcement.

The reaffirmed priorities of the ICMM for 2003-2004 will be to improve industry performance, provide international representation and act as a catalyst for change.

It remains for me to thank all the ICMM staff for their hard work and application this year, particularly bearing in mind the very sad death of Jay Hair late last year. I would also like to express a special word of thanks to Anita Roper who will be leaving us shortly, but has done so well to maintain ICMM’s momentum during the past year.

I should like to welcome our new Secretary General, Paul Mitchell, who joins the ICMM from CARE Australia, where he was Chief Executive. Under Paul’s stewardship, it is my belief that ICMM will further deliver on its vision of creating a viable mining, metals and minerals industry that is widely recognised as essential for modern living and as a key contributor to sustainable development.

Sir Robert Wilson
Chair, ICMM
Chair, Rio Tinto PLC