Mining companies claim to deal responsibly with people and the environment when mining these raw materials.
But is that really the case?
The answer to that question is now easy to find in the Responsible Mining Index (RMI). This is an evidence-based index that assesses mining companies’ policies and practices in six important areas, including working conditions, the environment, economic development and community wellbeing.
The RMI rankings show at a glance the extent to which different companies are addressing these issues.
On the basis of the information provided by the Index, stakeholders such as trade unions, investors, local communities and governments can encourage mining companies to pay more attention to a range of economic, environmental, social and governance (EESG) issues.
The Index is an initiative of the Responsible Mining Foundation, based in The Netherlands.
16 countries – so far
This first Index, RMI 2018, covers 30 companies from 16 home countries, including publicly-listed, state-owned and private companies. These companies operate in more than 850 sites in over 40 producing countries, and the assessment covers most mined commodities, excluding oil and gas.These companies account for 25% of all mined commodities worldwide. The Index includes companies such as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Glencore, Vale, Barrick Gold and Anglo American – all of which are among the world’s 10 largest mining companies.
Verken Norge, Sverige, Finland eller Danmark (Grønland) er foreløpig med på indeksen. Med unntak av Sveits og Storbritannia gjelder dette også resten av Vest-Europa.
Key findings of RMI 2018
One of the key findings of the Index is that too often companies do not put into practice their own policy commitments on responsible mining, such as those addressing human rights issues or ensuring a safe working environment. And the scale and persistence of severe adverse impacts is at odds with the widespread existence of company commitments. For example, worker fatalities (the 30 companies reported a total of 331 worker deaths over the 2015-2016 period) continue despite nearly every company having made a commitment on occupational health and safety. At the same time, the Index shows that the 30 companies are collectively demonstrating responsible mining across many issues and strong cases of leading practice are evident, providing valuable models for other companies.
The Netherlands and Switzerland are taking the lead
The Responsible Mining Index has been supported largely by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. Minister Kaag for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation will present the Index to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague on 4 July.