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ICMM response to abrdn statement on employee wellbeing in the mining industry

2 February 2023

We strongly support the statement published today by abrdn on the importance of collaboration to help improve approaches to employee wellbeing.

In 2022, we updated our Mining Principles to reinforce the integral role of DEI to sustainable development and provide proactive steps to help the industry achieve gender equality and the equal participation of all peoples in mining. The updates also elevated psychological health and safety to the same level as physical health and safety.

Discrimination, harassment, and assault of any kind have no place in the mining industry or anywhere else in society. We recognise that the change starts with us and updating ICMM’s Mining Principles in 2022 was an important step. We welcome investor support for the actions we are taking and the work yet to be done to build psychologically safe and truly diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces in the mining industry.

Anglo American has had ongoing engagement with abrdn and is supportive of its recommendations. We have been implementing changes in recent years to help ensure that our workplace culture protects and supports employees’ psychological wellbeing.

AngloGold Ashanti fully supports abrdn’s Statement on “Employee Wellbeing in the Mining Industry”. Our company is committed to ensuring that every office, every operating site and every exploration property is safe, respectful and inclusive for everyone who works there. This means zero tolerance for discrimination, harassment, and other inappropriate, disrespectful and harmful behaviours. Working in a safe environment is a basic human right and we will not hesitate to protect that right.

We are making strong progress on creating a safe, inclusive and respectful culture, knowing this will support high performance. We welcome abrdn’s initiative to engage and to support an industry wide approach to workplace culture where we, and our colleagues, can further enhance the wellbeing of our people. We are wholly committed to eliminating unwelcome behaviours at BHP including sexual harassment, bullying and racism. Everyone who comes to our sites has the right to thrive.

At Codelco, both safety and employee’s wellbeing are a guiding principle of our internal and external relations. We strongly support initiatives towards better work environments that target discrimination and harassment prevention, as well as nurturing a positive climate and culture within our corporation.

In 2021, we commissioned a comprehensive, external review of our workplace culture, with more than 10,000 of our employees sharing their experiences, insights and views. We published the results of this review in full in February 2022, which included deeply disturbing findings. By implementing the appropriate actions to address the 26 recommendations, and with the management team’s commitment to a safe, respectful and inclusive Rio Tinto, we are creating an open and transparent environment which will make positive and lasting change and strengthen our workplace culture for the long term.

South32 commends abrdn’s efforts to encourage engagement between investors and mining companies on the common goal of improving workplace culture and psychological safety.

We support the Statement on Employee Wellbeing in the Mining Industry. We recognise the importance of creating workplaces that are both physically and psychologically safe, together with enhancing inclusion and diversity across our workplace. Our internal inclusion and diversity standard sets out our minimum inclusion and diversity requirements across all elements of people management, to help our people feel included and respected at all times.

The most important commitment we make is that everyone goes home safe and well. Safe from physical harm, but also from harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination or victimisation of any kind.

Vale has had ongoing engagement with abrdn and is supportive of their initiative. Vale is attentive and sensitive to the issues of harassment, racism, and discrimination, acting with rigor and based on our Code of Conduct and internal policies, such as our Human Rights and our Diversity and Inclusion policies. Any behaviour that violates the rights or that puts the physical and/or mental health of our employees at risk, or contravenes our Code of Conduct, is taken with the utmost seriousness and dealt with in a timely manner, with consequence management, all parties involved. In addition, we always guarantee data protection and compliance with local legislation.