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Annual Report, 2013

31 March 2014

I am delighted to be the new chair of ICMM and I thank my predecessor, Marius Kloppers, for all his hard work furthering ICMM’s cause. ICMM makes a vital contribution to strengthening mining and metals’ contribution to sustainable development, something that each Council member is committed to continuing. It is nearly 12 years since the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (MMSD) initiative was completed, and there is now far greater understanding within the industry about how mining should maximize its contribution to sustainable development. It is encouraging, too, to see how ICMM has succeeded in implementing many of MMSD’s recommendations.

We need to make further headway, however, in gaining the appreciation and trust of a far wider constituency than we presently have. To do that, we have to reset the way in which we look at our industry and how we go about our business. That entails a shift in mindset from regarding ourselves as an extractives business to seeing ourselves as a development partner with the same shared purpose as many of our stakeholders, and particularly with governments and the host communities around industry operations.

I would contend that there are four key opportunities for significant improvement in our industry. First, all those people affected by mining should be treated fairly and with respect. That relates to such matters as procedural fairness, compensation and human rights. I believe ICMM members have made much progress in recent years – witness their embrace of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) for Indigenous Peoples in 2013 – but there is more to be done.

Secondly, we must understand that we can no longer operate in isolation and that we need to be far more inclusive in engaging with stakeholders. That means becoming more involved with industry opponents and forging contacts with an array of sectors from campaigning NGOs to faith groups and academia.

Thirdly, a redoubling of efforts to support social and economic development is needed. While many of the commodities we mine are relatively abundant in global terms, for host countries and communities each deposit represents a one-off opportunity for development.

Fourthly, as grades decline and demand for minerals grows, there will have to be changes to the way we operate. Many of our business practices are years behind those in other industries – we need to learn from them.

Every organization in the industry has a vested interest in getting this right. We need to put aside our sometimes-petty competitive issues and concerns, start thinking about the bigger picture and assist each other in rebuilding relationships with our most important stakeholders. Only then will we be able to provide sustainable financial returns, deliver on our obligations to society and help make the world a better place.

Mark Cutafani
Chair, ICMM
& CEO, Anglo American