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Stakeholder Newsletter: April, 2020

21 April 2020

ICMM was created at a time when the mining industry urgently needed to recognise external concerns and act more responsibly. Since then, our members have been at the forefront of efforts to raise performance standards and enhance the contribution of mining and metals to society. Today is no different.

As the global community responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, our members have been proactive in supporting a range of community services and responses, depending on local context and regulations. This includes both donations to COVID-19 focused funds and practical support, including the provision of clean drinking water, use of company facilities for field hospitals and supply of personal protective equipment.

Working collectively, members are also sharing resources on the practical measures put in place across operations to protect workers.  This includes, mandating working from home where possible, restrictions on travel, social distancing measures, temperature screening, access to mental health services and increased hygiene measures amongst many other initiatives.

These positive actions typify the values of our members, who already seek to set the highest standards of themselves, as evidenced by their commitment to implement enhanced membership requirements, as discussed below.

As the world continues to adjust to the challenges brought about by COVID-19, there has never been a more vital time to demonstrate care for our people and communities.  We all have a role to play, and it will be critically important to continue the excellent collaborative efforts we have already seen between our members.  Working together is our best chance of flattening the curve, helping communities and our workforce to rebuild and preparing for the future.

Wherever you are in the world, I hope that you and your families are staying safe and well.

Tom Butler


Improving the Flow of Information

ICMM is supporting members as they respond to COVID-19, by working to improve the flow of information and best practice between them.  Through regularly convened calls, our members have come together to identify areas of cooperation and collaboration guided by two principles; 1) protecting the health and safety of employees and communities and, 2) laying the groundwork now for the longer-term recovery of communities and local economies.

In the mining and metals sector we are seeing tailored and focused strategies and tactics adopted in accordance with public advice and the local situation.

Enhancing ICMM's Membership Requirements

Earlier this year, ICMM rolled out enhanced membership requirements, which include robust site-level validation and transparent disclosure.

Aligned with the objectives of other responsible sourcing initiatives, these Mining Principles define good practice environmental, social and governance requirements for the mining metals industry through a comprehensive set of performance expectations.

As a condition of membership for ICMM company members, ICMM’s Mining Principles will apply to roughly 650 assets in over 50 countries. Find out what this means for members in Aidan Davy's 'Commodities Note' for the Financial Times.

Mining and metals are critically important, from supporting the promotion of sustainable economic and social progress in resource rich countries to enabling the innovations and technologies needed to address climate change. But no matter how essential metals and minerals may be, customers and other stakeholders, increasingly including investors, are justifiably demanding that they be produced responsibly.

ICMM Welcomes New Members

In February, ICMM announced the admission of Sibanye-Stillwater as a member company and Cámara de Minería del Ecuador (CME) and Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) as new member associations. 

Following the acquisition of Lonmin, an existing ICMM member, the Sibanye-Stillwater Group went through ICMM’s rigorous company membership assessment process. Find out more here.

The Sibanye-Stillwater Group brings extensive experience of operating in both southern Africa and North America, while CME and CMIC offer valuable opportunities to expand knowledge sharing and learning opportunities, both to and from their own memberships.

A full list of ICMM members is available here.

Global Tailings Review Update

In March Dr Bruno Oberle, Chair of the Global Tailings Review, and the co-convener partners – ICMM, UNEP and PRI, regretfully took the decision to delay the publication of the Global Tailings Standard. "This is due to the challenges, both personal and operational, caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic" Oberle said.

"The co-convenors and I remain committed to establishing an international standard for the safer management of tailings storage and will keep stakeholders up-to-date."

More information is available at GlobalTailingsReview.org/news.

Issue in Focus

Mining Mainstreams Biodiversity

There are some fundamental things that mining companies can do to preserve biodiversity at operations, including properly assessing the risks and impacts of mining on the natural environment before operations begin, building an awareness of the importance of biodiversity in the area in question, and ensuring they don’t mine in World Heritage Sites, for example. Carly Leonida of 'The Intelligent Miner' speaks to ICMM's biodiversity lead Hafren Williams about why biodiversity is important for us all,and on the leadership and commitments of ICMM's members. Read the article here.

The mining industry has got a lot of solid good practice to share, but people just don’t associate it with biodiversity in the same way that they do with industries like agriculture. In many ways mining companies have been pioneers in terms of approaches that are still deemed to be best practice, including applying the mitigation hierarchy.

And Finally...

The COVID-19 pandemic has an impact on everyone – our families, friends and colleagues, our practices and those working in healthcare to whom we are all immensely grateful. From everyone at ICMM we hope you are staying safe.