This year ICMM celebrates its 15-year anniversary. As a Council member and now Chair, I have been part of the evolution of ICMM from the very beginning. When I look back at all we have achieved I do so with a sense of achievement and pride.
In bringing together the CEOs of 23 of the world’s leading mining and metals companies and 34 national and regional associations, the ICMM is unique.
Our members, across 58 countries, account for a third of the world’s mineral production. Significantly, in an age of rapid urbanisation, we are largely a regionally-based industry, providing development, employment and economic opportunities in some of the earth’s most remote areas.
Listen and respond
Over 15 years, ICMM has worked tirelessly to listen and respond to the key global challenges in sustainable development.
As a highly-respected industry body we have been able to draw on the collective knowledge and experience of members to embed sustainable development into our business conduct. Through our shared commitments, position statements and reporting, we have lifted the bar for our industry on sustainable development performance.
In 2016, we continued to demonstrate leadership. Through the ICMM Water Stewardship Position Statement, our members signed a binding commitment to apply strong and transparent water governance and manage water at operations effectively. ICMM members will collaborate with local communities and other stakeholders to achieve responsible and sustainable water use at a catchment level.
In response to the tragic failure of the Samarco tailings storage facility in Brazil in late 2015, we also commissioned and published an independent report into tailings management. In December 2016, we strengthened our guidance in this area, producing a position statement requiring members to reduce the risk of catastrophic failures by adopting a set of common management and governance practices.
As community expectations continue to evolve we must better understand and communicate the contribution of mining and metals to society. To achieve this, we need to increase engagement and emphasise what we do well. We must also raise our voice as an active participant in addressing the greatest challenges of our time which include poverty, wealth distribution and the low carbon economy.
On behalf of the Council of ICMM, I’d like to thank our member companies, associations and representatives of civil society and communities in mining areas. It is the positive engagement between all these parties that makes progress on tackling the challenges possible.
Finally, I would like to thank Tom Butler and the ICMM team for their tireless work in promoting the organisation and our industry’s many constructive contributions.