Who we are
Our purpose is leadership through collaboration to enhance the contribution of mining and metals to sustainable development.
ICMM is a unique industry body. We exist not to serve the commercial interests of our members, as you might expect from a ‘trade association’. Instead, we are a global leadership organisation for sustainable development, judging success by our contribution to creating a safe, just and sustainable world through responsibly produced metals and minerals.
The transition to a net-zero economy will be metal-intensive. It is our fundamental belief that when mined and produced responsibly minerals and metals can be transformational, enabling social progress and sustainable development within local communities and across entire nations. Taxes, jobs, skills, infrastructure, and community services are just some of the ways that host countries have experienced the benefits of mining. We are committed to maximising these, while minimising any potential for harm to people or planet.
Yet, we don’t shy away from uncomfortable truths. Despite the benefits, our industry has caused harm to people and planet. Our drive to minimise this harm, is encapsulated by our Mining Principles. These Principles are the essence of what it means to be a member of ICMM.
For the world at large, the next three years will shape the outlook for the next thirty. To achieve a net zero economy by 2050, decarbonisation technologies must be deployed at an unprecedented scale in the near term. Metals and minerals are the backbone of these solutions and are in many cases in short supply, but it is our fundamental belief ‘how’ these are produced is as, if not more important than ‘how much’.
“ICMM’s strategy sets an ambitious agenda that focuses on issues where the mining industry can make the biggest contributions related to society’s greatest challenges. These are also areas where the collective leadership of our 26 members, representing a third of the global industry, will be critical to push the boundaries of responsible and sustainable mining.
We come together as a collective to solve the challenges that are common to our industry and to humanity. While collaboration isn't always easy it is in our nature to work for consensus to achieve the best outcomes for people and the planet. We invite all organisations that share our ambitions to join us in putting differences aside so that we may work together to enhance the contribution of mining and metals to sustainable development.
Where it all began
In late 1998 a small group of mining industry CEOs came together to question how the sector could grow its contribution to sustainable development. This led to a two-year process of research and consultation known as the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development Project (MMSD).
What emerged was a robust agenda for change that would enhance mining and metals’ contribution to sustainable development. MMSD concluded in May 2002 with the signing of the Toronto Declaration, where it was agreed that ICMM should take over responsibilities for mainstreaming sustainable development for the industry.
Over the years, societal expectations of the mining and metals industry have moved to include ever higher standards of behaviour. While our priorities have evolved our commitment to leadership through collaboration to enhance the contribution of mining and metals to sustainable development has not.
2022 marks 20 years of ICMM
We’ve changed and grown a lot since 2002, adapting to dramatic events around the world and within our industry, but our core focus of enhancing the contribution of mining and metals to sustainable development remains the same. Read our Strategy and Action Plan (SAP) 2022–2024 to learn more.