Stakeholder Newsletter: March, 2021
The other week I was asked to provide an overview of the ‘E’ in ESG at BMO’s 30th Global Mining and Metals conference. When considering what to say, it struck me how difficult it is to discuss these topics individually. They are intrinsically interlinked, and it is impossible to look at company approaches to the ‘E’ without also thinking about the ‘S’ and ‘G’ as well.
This has clearly been reflected across ICMM’s recent activities as the articles below highlight. ICMM’s Verónica Martinez moderated a panel examining the challenges and benefits of incorporating new technologies into haulage systems to increase their efficiencies. Reduction of CO2 emissions is the critical environmental and social issue of our time, and strong governance approaches will be required to implement the technologies needed to reduce emissions. Progress is also being made on water stewardship, and the article below raises the importance of building trust with stakeholders through transparent and consistent water quality reporting.
ICMM members’ response to the pandemic has shown the industry’s approach to 'S’ at its best, with companies playing a pivotal role in strengthening the resilience of mining communities. We must continue to build on this, and ICMM’s Nicky Black joined an expert panel at Mining Indaba Virtual to discuss how this might be achieved through our 'Skills for our Common Future' initiative, and by harnessing technology and automation to help economies recover and grow post Covid. A link to a recording of the discussion is included below.
The integration of ‘E’, ‘S’ and ‘G’ aspects is also apparent in the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management, which embodies a step-change for transparency, accountability and the safeguarding of the rights of project affected people. We are working alongside our co-convening partners to reinforce this message, and drive uptake more broadly. To this end, ICMM's Aidan Davy joined a Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) webinar in January to discuss implementation of the Standard. I strongly encourage you to give it a watch.
It has been a great privilege to lead ICMM over the past six years. While we have faced several challenges during my tenure, we have made a great deal of progress. I am leaving ICMM with a real sense of optimism about the future of the industry, and in the very capable hands of my successor Rohitesh Dhawan to lead the company into its next phase. I know he will be able to count on your support and engagement, as I have been able to. Thank you.
Introducing Rohitesh Dhawan as CEO
Earlier this week we announced that Rohitesh Dhawan will succeed Tom Butler as CEO from 6 April 2021. “I am excited to be joining ICMM in arguably the most important decade for the industry,” Rohitesh said. “The foundations of a net zero emissions economy are being laid now, and minerals are critical to it. But many environmental, social and governance challenges remain unresolved, and I can think of no better vehicle than ICMM to convene the necessary solutions.”
Rohitesh is a sustainability specialist with significant experience in the resources sector. His most recent role was as Managing Director and Head of the EMEA region at Eurasia Group, a geopolitical research and analysis firm, where he led the climate change and sustainability practice. Prior to this, Ro’s roles included Global Head of Sustainability for the Mining Sector and Global Strategy Director at KPMG International. Read more.
Boliden joins ICMM becoming 28th member
Today, ICMM announced the admission of Boliden, the Swedish producer of zinc, copper, nickel and more, following a rigorous, independent assessment process.
“Our vision is to become the most climate friendly and respected metal provider in the world and the membership in ICMM is an important step in that direction,” Mikael Staffas, President and CEO of Boliden said. “Our performance within sustainable metal production is strong already today, but we will continue to seek improvements and contribute to the aim of ICMM.”
By becoming a member, Boliden commits to ICMM’s Mining Principles which define good practice Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) requirements for the mining industry. Read the full press release.
Decarbonising through innovation
Last month at the Mexico Mining Forum, Verónica Martinez, ICMM’s Climate Change lead led a discussion with industry experts about the road to decarbonisation through innovative haulage systems. Speaking at the event, Brian Huff, Vice President of Technology for Sandvik said: “the mining sector has the technology and can have an easy transition; however, education and awareness are needed for the customer base to understand that these technologies are capable and available for new mine development”. Sandvik is one of the 19 original equipment manufacturers participating in ICMM’s 'Innovation for Cleaner, Safer Vehicles' (ICSV) initiative. Watch the event.
Alongside the discussion, Veronica was interviewed by Mexico Business News on ICMM’s ICSV initiative. “The ICSV is unique,” said Veronica. “It is a CEO-led initiative that requires collaboration and shared governance.” Read the article.
Building Trust with stakeholders through transparency and consistency in water quality reporting
Water is a precious shared resource, with significant social, cultural, environmental, and economic value. It is a basic human right and a fundamental requirement for healthy, functional ecosystems that are vital to sustaining life on earth.
Going beyond water management to proactive and holistic water stewardship requires a comprehensive understanding of the quality of water being managed at a mine site, and how this is influenced by the characteristics of and activities within the wider catchment. Understanding water quality is important for reducing water related risks, identifying opportunities, attracting investment, and building trust with local communities writes ICMM's Alice Evans for Water Online.
Covid-19 gives new urgency to the skills agenda
“Recent surveys consistently find an overwhelming majority of leaders expect the nature of the mining workforce to change over the next five years, as they target productivity and sustainability benefits from new technology. The limiting factor? Skills. Almost 50% of employees are estimated to require reskilling/upskilling to deliver the mining company of the future. Building Forward Better from Covid-19 gives new urgency to the skills agenda in Africa, and around the world,” said Nicky Black, ICMM’s Director of Social and Economic Development programme speaking at last month’s virtual Investing in African Mining Indaba. Watch the discussion moderated by the Financial Times’ Neil Hume on demand.
In the coming months we are taking part in a number of in-person and virtual events. Details on how to participate are provided below:
Implementing the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management
PDAC, 11 March 2021 (11.30am–12.30pm EST).
Today, the final day of the virtual PDAC convention, ICMM will be participating in a session on tailings performance and regulatory considerations. Moderated by Intergovernmental Forum’s Isabelle Ramdoo, ICMM’s COO Aidan Davy will join Elisa Tonda, UN Environment Programme, Adam Matthews, Principles for Responsible Investment, and Charles Dumaresq, Mining Association of Canada (MAC) to discuss the practicalities of implementation to support safe, responsible management of tailings across the global mining industry and ultimately prevent catastrophic events and human fatalities.
The session will also introduce ICMM’s soon to be launched Good Practice Guide for Tailings Management and Conformance Protocol, as well as efforts underway by MAC to incorporate critical elements from the Standard into its Towards Sustainable Mining’s Tailings Management Protocol, Table of Conformance and best practice guidance. Watch the discussion here.
ICMM members are mining with principles to sustainably manage the natural resources of our planet, and enhance the wellbeing of local communities. Here we highlight just one example of good practice from Gold Fields. More examples can be found on our website.