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Stakeholder Newsletter: June 2024

6 June 2024

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Folks,

If a picture tells a thousand words, then sometimes a number is worth a thousand pictures.

36. That’s the dollars per $100 of profit that ICMM members have paid in royalties and Corporate Income Tax (CIT) from 2013 to 2023. And that doesn’t include property and other taxes which can be significant.

So we want credit for what we should be doing, I hear you say? No, that’s not it at all. Instead, we seek a better shared understanding of the investment in mining that’s required for the energy transition, and the role of stable tax regimes in encouraging this investment and promoting responsible mining.

That’s why we’ve published two important pieces of research to support informed conversation. The first is a tax contribution report outlining the total tax payments of ICMM members in 2023 and in the decade prior. You’ll find more detail below, but the headline figures are that in 2023, ICMM members reported CIT and royalties of US$54.2 billion. Alongside this, they reported having 561,800 employees, and disclosed wages and related payments of US$39.1 billion, payments to suppliers of US$187.2 billion, and a significant increase in community and social investment totalling US$1.4 billion.

The second is a briefing paper to help policymakers further unlock the potential of mining and metals. It examines the conditions required to foster investment and optimise the social and economic contributions to host countries and identifies six tax design elements that should, at a minimum, be considered by governments and policymakers. Rest assured this isn’t a call for lowering taxes; far from it. It’s an honest analysis of leading practices and the possible social and economic gains and costs of applying them.

Likewise, in an op-ed for edie, I look at how our industry can meet the ever-increasing demand for materials sustainably. I won’t spoil the punchline, but I offer three scenarios for how the critical minerals push could play out: a race to the bottom (very bad), more of the same (bad), and a race to the top (good).

These are just some of the elements of what’s been an action-packed Spring for us. ICMM’s co-COOs have been speaking at various events on the importance of mining with principles. Aidan Davy was at FT Live’s Moral Money Summit Europe, where he tackled the fundamental question: how do you realise the economic potential of critical minerals while balancing environmental responsibilities? Meanwhile, Danielle Martin was in Peru, visiting MMG’s Las Bambas mine and speaking at SNMPE’s XV International Mining Meeting.

Looking forward to connecting with many of you in the coming months – and you can keep up with where we’ll be on our website. As always, I love hearing from you, so please keep in touch.

Warmly,
Ro


Features

Tax principles for sustainable mining

Meeting the demand for minerals and metals for the global energy transition by 2030 will require investments of US$360–450 billion, according to IEA. Stable tax environments in mineral-rich countries are crucial for unlocking economic potential.

A new briefing paper developed with EY outlines tax policy principles and six design elements for responsible mining. These principles, tested in Latin America, Africa, and other regions, show how different tax approaches can foster productivity and investment. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but thoughtful tax policies can drive positive outcomes. Find out more here and download a summary factsheet here.

Strong government-industry relationships are key. Our report encourages discussions on tax systems to balance benefits and investments.


ICMM members’ 2023 tax contribution

Despite global financial pressures, our industry significantly contributes to national wealth, supporting jobs, businesses, and producing essential materials for modern life and the energy transition.

In 2023, ICMM members contributed US$54.2 billion in taxes and royalties. This included US$38.8 billion in Corporate Income Tax and US$15.5 billion in royalties. When added to historical data, collected since 2013, this brings the total contribution paid to US$325.6 billion, which is equal to US$36 out of every US$100 of profit.

In the past year, members have also supported some 561,800 jobs, paying US$39.1 billion in wages; with a further US$187.2 billion paid to suppliers. They have also invested US$1.4 billion in communities. Transparency in these contributions is essential in supporting accountability and showing the mining sector’s economic impact. Read our latest tax contribution report to learn more.


We need a race to the top in the supply of critical minerals

With rising demand for cobalt and lithium, we face a crucial moment. IEA’s 2024 outlook shows a 30% increase in lithium demand in 2023, with other minerals following suit. By 2040, demand could rise two to nine times, requiring $800 billion in new mining investments.

In an op-ed for edie, a leading online platform for sustainable business and climate action news and insights, ICMM’s Ro Dhawan offers three scenarios for how can collectively fulfil this demand:

  • More of the Same: Continuing current practices could miss opportunities for improvement.
  • Race to the Bottom: Lowering standards could lead to negative consequences like unrehabilitated mine sites.
  • Race to the Top: Adopting best practices across the industry ensures responsible mining becomes the norm.

For ICMM’s 24 company members there is only one genuine option. Read the article on the edie platform here.


Balancing economic potential and environmental responsibilities

At the FT Moral Money Summit Europe, ICMM’s Aidan Davy discussed balancing economic potential and environmental responsibilities.

Responsible mining and metals have huge potential to contribute to the social progress of host nations and to a nature-positive future. This is easy to say but can be challenging to achieve. Oversight of performance is key to minimising negative impacts, while maximising benefits.

ICMM company members, as a condition of joining, commit to implementing a comprehensive set of performance expectations and related position statements on critical industry challenges. However, there are many other standards out there, which can be confusing to navigate and implement. This is why we are working with The Copper Mark, the Mining Association of Canada, and the World Gold Council to consolidate our responsible mining standards.

Together, we aim to create a less complex standards landscape that serves the needs of stakeholders, sets a high bar for responsible mining, and drives continuous improvement across the entire mining and metals industry. By building on the best attributes of each, the new standard will provide a robust mechanism to help realise the economic potential of critical minerals while balancing environmental responsibilities. Learn more about the consolidation process here.

You can catch up on the conversation at FT Moral Money Summit Europe on demand here.


Mining with principles in Peru

I was struck by the effort that the Las Bambas team is making to ensure local communities realise the benefits of mining.

Eleven of the 24 members of ICMM operate or have interests in Peru – among the highest of any country.  We're committed to working with our stakeholders to share learnings from Peru, to demonstrate the benefits of responsible mining practises.

Towards this end, ICMM’s Danielle Martin recently visited MMG’s Minera Las Bambas operation to see first hand how the community relations team is supporting local business development initiatives.

While in Peru, Danielle also spoke at the 30th anniversary of SNMPE’s symposium, giving the keynote speech before joining a panel with Juan Luis Kruger and Troy Hey, of ICMM members Alcoa and MMG respectively. A summary of the panel discussion can be found here.

We will be sharing more insights from this visit very soon. Keep an eye out on our social media channels.


Connect With Us

Economist Impact - 4th annual Sustainability Week US
New York, US & online • 12 June

Ro will be joining Rebecca Kaduru (Institute for Sustainable Communities) and Jeff Vockrodt (Fair Labor Association) to discuss the steps businesses need to take to address the ‘S’ in ESG, specifically around managing human rights risks. This is increasingly important for businesses as supply chains grow ever more global and diversified. Ro will discuss the extensive experience our members’ have in applying the UN Guiding Principles, as the first industry association to adopt them as a membership requirement. Find out more here.


The London Indaba
London, UK • 26 June

Ro will be giving the keynote on the second day of the conference, where he will explore why past efforts to improve the image of mining have failed, what insights into human nature and the mining industry's realities are needed, and which new approaches might be more effective in changing public perceptions. Find out more here.


UNEP-WCMC Nature Action Dialogues
Cambridge, UK • 2 July

ICMM’s nature lead Emma Marsden will be speaking in two sessions. These will focus on catalysing nature action in metals value chains and on using the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) Mining and Metals Sector Guidance to assess nature-related issues in the sector. ICMM is TNFD’s official piloting partner for the mining and metals sector, and over the last year has been collaborating with 13 leading companies and cross-sector partners to develop the organisation’s sector-specific guidance and reporting metrics. Find out more here.


MIT Global Summit on Mine Tailings Innovation
Massachusetts, US • 19–20 September 2024

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in collaboration with ICMM, is hosting its first Global Summit on Mine Tailings Innovation which aims to foster collaboration, innovation, and actionable solutions for sustainable tailings management. With a focus on research that can be rapidly translated into practical applications, alongside technology solutions for all stages of the mining lifecycle, the conference will provide a forum for global experts to exchange ideas, advance thinking and make progress on significantly reducing tailings. Find out more here.