• Share

Stakeholder Newsletter: July, 2020

20 July 2020

People increasingly want to work for purpose driven companies that operate responsibly and do the right thing at the right time. Although there have been some high-profile examples of the industry getting social license wrong, I feel we have made a lot of progress since I started in the sector 20 years ago. It has certainly been noticeable to me that those companies that have the strongest COVID-19 community responses are those that have invested the most in developing their social performance capacity over the years.

During ICMM's first online leadership conversation, it was a privilege to hear the combined expertise of Anglo-American CEO Mark Cutifani, Minsur CEO Juan Luis Kruger and The Minerals Council of Australia CEO Tania Constable. Throughout, it was clear that mining companies have been working hard to forge stronger relationships with communities to get the right support to the right people at the right time. Read my reflections on the event in my latest blog here.

This has been, and still is, a terrible crisis, with many lives lost. However, severe crises force change, and in this case some of the resulting shifts will be long lasting and for the better. In a blog for ICMM, director Nicky Black notes how our members are in a unique position to support local response efforts, working with community members and organisations in often remote locations to identify and help meet specific needs. Through these interactions it has become clear that while headline grabbing donations go a long way to demonstrate contribution, what matters even more is the importance of engagement, listening, and reacting to community needs. 

At ICMM we will continue to encourage closer collaboration between communities and companies to support companies in getting the balance right between delivering sustainable development, protecting safety and wellbeing, and protecting jobs.

The importance of safety must never be taken for granted. In June, we published our latest safety data report. Mining can be hazardous, and despite the implementation of comprehensive safety management systems fatalities continue to occur. A single fatality is one too many and, to put it simply, we must improve. Working together is our best chance of doing this and, as a global voice on responsible mining and metals, ICMM is well positioned to engage with and support the industry in helping communities and our workforces to thrive.

Wherever you are in the world, I hope that you and your families are staying safe and well. And that you enjoy reading our latest newsletter.

Tom Butler


COVID-19 Crisis will Bring Change to the Mining Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time, with governments and health services racing to slow the spread of the virus. Societies across the world are facing restrictions and we are seeing immeasurable pressure being placed on the global economy. Everyday, people are losing loved ones, their jobs and income, with no way of knowing when normality may return. Strength of community engagement and commitment to social performance will be differentiating factors between companies that are better able to support with managing the twin challenges of managing public health and the need to revitalise the economy writes ICMM CEO Tom Butler in the 24 June 2020 'The Commodities Note' for the Financial Times.

ICMM’s company members recognise this and have responded quickly by putting measures in place to safeguard and support workers and host communities. To illustrate this support and the resources delivered by members, ICMM has published a briefing COVID-19: ICMM Member Response. Alongside examining the multitude of member responses, the briefing demonstrates why the industry is best placed to support nations, communities and supply chains as they persevere, then rebuild.

ICMM Publishes 2019 Mining Occupational Safety Data

ICMM members share an unwavering commitment to improving their health and safety performance. In support of this commitment, ICMM compiles, analyses, and publishes the safety data of company members. Monitoring and reporting on occupational health and safety indictors is an important aspect of driving performance improvement.

Regrettably, in 2019 company members recorded a total of 287 occupational fatalities, a marked increase from the 50 fatalities recorded in 2018 and 51 fatalities recorded in 2017. Of the 287 occupational fatalities recorded, 250 occurred as a result of the catastrophic structural failure of a tailings dam at Vale’s Corrego do Feijão mine in Brumadinho on 25 January 2019.

One fatality is one too many. The 2019 data offers a stark reminder that while the mining and metals industry has come a long way in improving how it operates, there is still much more to do to safeguard lives, improve performance and demonstrate transparency.

The full report, Safety Data: Benchmarking Progress of ICMM Company Members in 2019, and associated press release are available to view on our website.

“Trust in our industry’s ability to operate safely was rightly questioned following the tragic Brumadinho dam collapse early last year, which claimed the lives of 270 people – 250 workers and 20 community members. Our members are committed to taking action and rebuilding public trust in the sector.” Tom Butler, CEO at ICMM

ICMM Launches New Mine Closure KPI Tool

Integration of closure planning into all aspects of the mining life cycle is necessary for managing critical risks and for identifying opportunities. To do this effectively, site management need access to clear and accurate information to guide their decision-making. To help support the implementation of good closure practices at the operational level, ICMM has developed a 'Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Tool for Closure'. KPIs can be useful tools for benchmarking performance and for providing greater consistency of disclosure.

The KPI Tool is based on a management system approach around the ‘plan-do-check-act’ (PDCA) aspects. This allows KPIs to be graphically represented on a dashboard to incorporate into site and management level reporting. Being able to monitor internal performance using a visual tool like a dashboard helps to clearly communicate risks and track progress at key decision-making points. This enables fast integration of the data by decision makers so they can understand where resources may need to be reallocated to address a gap or potential risk.

Visit our website to find out more about the tool and the importance of mine closure.

Change Agent: An Interview with Verónica Martinez

Launched by ICMM in 2018, the Innovation for Cleaner, Safer Vehicles (ICSV) initiative was established to address three of the most critical safety, health and environment performance issues facing the mining and metals industry. ICMM's Verónica Martinez discusses the goals of the initiative, the unique collaborations that have resulted and the future with ICSV partner Sandvik's Solid Ground online. Read the interview here.

Global Tailings Review Update

The Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management – prepared by the Global Tailings Review – has been endorsed by ICMM and our co-convenor partners the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The product of a rigorous, independent, multi-stakeholder process, the Standard establishes robust requirements for the safer management of tailings facilities globally. To find out about the Standard, why not listen to this podcast hosted by the Sustainable Minerals Institute for UNEP with Tom Butler and other co-convenor partners, including Adam Matthews and John Howchin of PRI.

The next steps are to finalise the accompanying reports which will provide additional detail, context, background and recommendations on the Standard. The Standard will be published once it has been translated and all accompanying documents are ready. We expect to publish these in the coming weeks.

Keep up to date at GlobalTailingsReview.org/news.

In Conversation with ICMM

Catch up on ICMM's leadership conversation with the CEOs of Anglo American, Minsur and the Minerals Council of Australia. Moderated by ICMM's Tom Butler, the online event offered a unique opportunity to hear directly from industry leaders on their responses to the COVID-19 crisis, what they have learnt within their own operations and host countries, and their thoughts on what comes next. You can listen to the webinar in full on our YouTube channel.

Integrating ESG Practices in Mining

Investors and other stakeholders are demanding tools to better measure the sustainability and performance of the mining industry. In this podcast for BMO Capital Markets, Tom Butler joined BMO's Dan Barclay to discuss how the industry is increasing transparency to make it easier for investors and other stakeholders to quantify ESG efforts and results.

ESG Standards: The Best Path Forward

ICMM's Aidan Davy joined Bruno Bertocci (UBS Asset Management), Katie Schmitz Eulitt (Sustainability Accounting standards Board) and Jim Northey (ISO TC68 Technical Financial Services) for a webinar hosted by Reuters on the role of ESG and the growth of standards, including ICMM’s Mining Principles.

Employment in Mining During COVID-19: Impacts, Responses and Outlooks

In this webinar hosted by IGF and IISD, ICMM director Nicky Black joined Dr Gabriel Mota Maldonado (Department of Sustainable Development for the Government of Brazil) and Alette Van Lear (ILO) to discuss challenges faced by workers linked to COVID-19. The webinar also explored what the future outlook could be, taking into consideration the need to secure jobs while prioritising the health and safety of employees.

Up-Coming Events

In the coming months, ICMM will be taking part in a number of online forums alongside government, civil society, business, academia, the investor community and the wider mining industry.

IFC Net Zero Transition Roadmap for Mining • 22 July 2020. 8.30am EDT.
ICMM director Sarah Bell will be joining experts from industry and the investor community to discuss how to shape the development of the IFC’s net zero roadmap for mining.

Planning for Closure 2020 • September 7–11 2020.
Aidan Davy will be delivering a keynote speech and ICMM's Alice Davies will be facilitating sessions at this year's event, which is to address the latest innovations in mine closure planning.

And Finally...

Check it out: A critical control management approach is an effective way of focusing risk-management on those controls that are most critical for health and safety outcomes towards a goal of zero fatalities in the industry. Now, the Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre (MISHC) at The University of Queensland has developed a short course on Risk and Critical Control Management based on ICMM's guidance. To find out more about the course, click here.