A collaboration is underway between four of the leading organizations within the metals and mining industry to create a new globalized standard for responsible mining.
In a statement put out by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) on Wednesday, the organization said it is working with The Copper Mark, Mining Association of Canada and the World Gold Council towards consolidating their individual voluntary responsible mining standards into a single global standard with a multi-stakeholder oversight system.
"This collaboration responds to direct feedback from investors, civil society, customers, policy makers and mining companies that confirmed the appetite for a less crowded and complex standards landscape that is more transparent, robust and encourages wider industry participation to drive impact at scale," ICMM stated.
The process aims to take the best attributes of each organization’s standard as the foundation for developing a single, global standard that would be practical and implementable by any mine operator regardless of commodity, geography or size. Implementation of the standard would be overseen by an independent, multi-stakeholder governance body and a credible assurance process, both of which are to be defined and developed as part of this exercise.
The proposed standard could, at the outset, have the widest coverage of any voluntary responsible mining standard to date, with initial implementation by more than 80 mining companies with around 700 operations in almost 60 countries worldwide. Broader participation by companies beyond the four organizations will help support the industry to further raise the bar on ESG (environment, social and governance) performance.
The development process is being informed by multi-stakeholder and industry advisory groups that will play an essential role in providing a balanced perspective on the proposed standard, assurance process and governance model. Inclusive engagement and consultation are at the core of this process. The draft standard will be shaped by wide ranging stakeholder engagement and feedback through a public consultation that ICMM expects to launch in 2024.
Whilst developing a new standard is a challenging process, all partners are fully committed in their efforts to conduct a robust and thorough process in pursuit of this objective, the Council stated.