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Nature

Nature has come to the forefront of global attention as both the significant risks of widespread ecosystem collapse and the opportunities nature holds for addressing urgent social and environmental challenges have become better understood.

Our work focuses on delivering our nature commitments and developing the metrics and practices needed to maximise the mining and metals sector’s contribution to the Global Goal for Nature. We are working closely with a wide range of organisations and stakeholders, including the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), to help contribute towards a nature positive future for our planet. 

Check out our nature hub for more information on our landmark nature commitments and to read stories about how our members are taking action to support a nature positive future.

Issue at a Glance

  • The mining industry is wholly dependent on healthy functioning ecosystems, and has a responsibility to understand its footprint, mitigate its impact and maximise opportunities for the conservation and restoration of nature through land and water stewardship. 
  • Mining is as an important driver of development in host countries. It also produces the metals and minerals essential for the transition to a low carbon economy. Though mining disturbs less than 0.1% of the world’s land, it is often in ecologically and culturally sensitive areas where the building of infrastructure can have a detrimental impact on nature. This needs careful management with communities, government, and civil society to halt and reverse the loss of nature and support conservation.
  • Through the Performance Expectations outlined in the ICMM Mining Principles, company members are required to pursue continual improvements in their environmental performance and contribute to the conservation of biodiversity.  ICMM’s Nature Position Statement defines additional commitments that members must implement alongside these to contribute to a nature positive future.
  • ICMM works with experts within our member companies, international organisations and Indigenous and land-connected Peoples to contribute to a nature positive through delivery of our nature commitments. This includes sharing and building on learnings to date, as well as finding new opportunities and innovations. By taking a holistic view of our industry’s influence and impact, from the mine site into adjacent landscapes and value chains, we can better ensure that nature positive practices are embedded into business decision making and action on the ground.

 

Our Priorities

Supporting a Nature Positive Future

We are committed to taking urgent action to support a nature positive future that promotes the health, diversity and resilience of species, ecosystems and natural processes. We believe that nature positive must be both an objective to be achieved, as well as an embedded approach to doing business.

Our five-point plan for minimising harm and transforming our relationship with nature:

  1. Protect and conserve pristine areas of our natural environment: No mining or exploration in World Heritage Sites and respect all legally designated protected areas.
  2. Halt biodiversity loss at our operations: Achieve no net loss or net gain of biodiversity at all mine sites by closure against a 2020 baseline.
  3. Collaborate across value chains: Develop initiatives and partnerships that halt and reverse nature loss throughout supply and distribution chains.
  4. Restore and enhance landscapes: Around operations through local partnerships, including with Indigenous Peoples, land-connected Peoples and local communities.
  5. Catalyse wider change: Acting to change the fundamental systems that contribute to nature loss and fostering opportunities for nature’s recovery.

World Heritage Sites and Legally Designated Protected Areas

Since 2003, members of ICMM have voluntarily committed to not mine or prospect in World Heritage Sites. ICMM firmly believes that these cultural and natural sites of outstanding and universal natural value should be off limits to industrial activity of any form. In the rare cases where ICMM members may still hold concessions overlapping World Heritage Sites, there is no intention to commence mining.


Nature Metrics

Measuring success is vital to credible commitments and driving positive change on the ground. For this reason, our nature commitments include the development of consistent and robust metrics so that members can report progress on nature positive outcomes from 2026 (ie based on the 2025 data year). We are also engaging with TNFD as the official mining and metals piloting partner, and working collectively and in consultation with GRI other stakeholders to support the development of metrics that measure both impacts and dependencies on nature.