Support local economic opportunities
Large-scale modern mining does not directly employ large numbers of people at a national aggregate level, although indirect and induced employment can be very significant.
The large capital investments in infrastructure alongside operating investments in procurement, employment and skills development, offer immense potential to transform economies through enabling sustainable domestic investment, diversification and links.
Mining can create economic opportunities for local communities through the significant capital investment that usually accompanies projects. This has the ability to contribute to the social, economic and institutional development of host countries and communities through local employment, training and skills development. There are also considerable opportunities for local procurement and local business development through products and services provided to the mine.
These opportunities are relevant throughout the life cycle of the mine and success in local content development, if done well, can support the economic diversification critical to ensuring sustainable post-closure economies and communities.
How companies can promote local procurement in less developed contexts
Some communities will be less able to take advantage of the potential benefits offered by a mining project development due to the lack of economic infrastructure in place or the lack of a relevant skill base. In developed economies there will already be an enabling environment for economic links to develop with the local community and mining company more organically.
In less developed operating contexts, companies will need to put in place initiatives to develop the relevant skill base or required economic infrastructure. This will include using direct social investment programmes and working with local organisations and governments.
Strengthening operational capacity
Mining is increasingly expected to create local economic opportunities outside of the mine fence. This can be achieved through fostering local partnerships to promote initiatives that encourage local procurement, strategic social spending, and capacity building to encourage local enterprise development. ICMM company members commit to enable access by local enterprises to procurement and contracting opportunities across the project life cycle (both directly and through encouraging their larger contractors and suppliers to do so), and by supporting initiatives to enhance economic opportunities for local communities.