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ICMM publishes new resource to advance water stewardship in the mining and metals sector

23 November 2023

London, UK – Today, ICMM has published a Water Stewardship Maturity Framework, a practical tool designed to help mining and metals companies enhance their stewardship of shared water resources in ways that are socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial.

Featuring a range of leading practices and real-world examples from different operating contexts, the Framework addresses risks and priorities applicable at individual asset and corporate levels. It identifies five elements of water stewardship: governance and strategy; understanding water context, risks and opportunities; integration in business planning and decision making; performance and measurement; and transparency and reporting. It also outlines three progressive stages within these elements - basic, advanced and leading.

The Framework is intended to support users to effectively manage water as a shared resource, acknowledging its critical importance, not only to the business, but also to the broader local catchment and its stakeholders. It supports the integration of water’s pivotal role into various corporate agendas, such as climate resilience, cultural heritage protection, nature-positive approaches, social performance and inclusion, and operational excellence.

The Framework aligns with leading external guidance and reporting initiatives, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) and the Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosure (TNFD).

Access to water is a basic human right and a fundamental requirement for healthy, functioning ecosystems. We live in a world of increasing pressure on water resources, compounded by the impact of climate change. We hope that ICMM’s Water Stewardship Maturity Framework will be a valuable tool to advance water stewardship across our industry and to navigate the challenges in delivering critical minerals for a more sustainable future.

ICMM’s Water Stewardship Maturity Framework will help companies like ours to advance sustainable water management. Water Stewardship is one of our six key ESG priorities, as water is a critical resource we share with our host communities and host countries. The self-assessment and verification process carried out by all our mines, gives us the confidence that we are managing water responsibly and helps us build trust with our stakeholders, particularly host communities.

The new Framework, developed with input from water and environmental experts from ICMM’s membership, draws on members’ experiences, providing clear pathways and examples to support enhanced water stewardship practices across the industry.


Notes to Editor

  • In January 2017, ICMM published a Water Stewardship Position Statement which requires members to implement water stewardship practices that include strong and transparent water governance, effective and efficient management of water at operations, and collaboration with stakeholders at a catchment-level to achieve responsible and sustainable water use.

About ICMM

ICMM stands for mining with principles. We bring together a third of the global metals and mining industry, along with key partners to drive leadership, action and innovation for sustainable development, ultimately delivering a positive contribution to society. Through collaboration, ICMM member companies set the standard for responsibly produced minerals and metals in a safe, just and sustainable world.

Media contacts

Molly Stewart
Manager, Communications
+44 (0)7887 778 794