Annual Report, 2008
2008 was a year marked by tumultuous change.Across the world the financial systemstaggered – commodity prices that underpinthe mining and metals industry plummeted,and in a few short months, the operatingenvironment for the sector in general andICMM more specifically was entirely changed.
I took up my post as ICMM President on 1 October just as these events moved into high gear. I found an organization that was operating smoothly and was remarkably well prepared for the events that were unfolding. Credit for that situation goes to my predecessor, Paul Mitchell, and to John Groom who served as chief operating officer during the six-month transition period immediately prior to my arrival. Their contribution to ICMM has been significant.
During the five years that Paul was in charge at ICMM, he presided over a period of considerable growth and evolution, helping to shape ICMM into the organization it is today. I could not make the contribution that I hope to make had Paul not paved the way.
For his part, during the short six months that John was here, systems were introduced that have created a strong foundation for me to build on, and move forward.
We also welcomed a new chairman in 2008 – Brad Mills (then Chairman and CEO of Lonmin) was replaced by Richard Adkerson, President and CEO of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold. All at ICMM are thankful to Brad for his contribution and I now look forward to a creative and productive period of time working with Richard.
Commitment and collaboration
In the short time I have been with ICMM, two factors have stood out. First, it is impossible not to be moved by the spirit, motivation and depth of engagement of the 16 staff that comprise the secretariat. Without their professionalism, ICMM’s work and success – past, present and future – would not be possible.
Second, I was similarly struck by the depth of commitment to the work of ICMM articulated by the member CEOs. The culture of the mining and metals industry is one of competition. However, ICMM members have come to understand that on certain issues – including many of the environmental and social issues that are gathered under the banner of sustainability – it is the sharing of experience and good practice that is needed.
Making a difference
People ask me how ICMM can make a difference. We need to bridge the gap between ideas and practice, between concepts and concerted action. We need to reach out and make a real difference on the ground, touching people’s lives.
ICMM needs to be the kind of organization that says the right things, makes the right commitments and works effectively through its members and others in the industry to achieve concrete results in practice. We need to walk the talk.
In 2008, we began a process of strategic review. The purpose of this review is to refresh the vision, mandate and priorities of ICMM.
I use the word “refresh” advisedly. We are not redefining the foundation of this organization. We are building on our work to date, preparing for the future and making sure that we are relevant as an organization.
I hope that our partners and collaborators will embrace the changes that we are working towards. The actions that are required need commitment from our members and all the interests that our industry reaches. That commitment is evident in the CEOs on our Council. It is the strongest possible starting point for success as we move into a new era for ICMM.
Dr R Anthony Hodge