The Responsible Mining Index, published this month, praises several companies for good practice, but identifies a widespread failure by extractives firms to monitor and share ESG performance with communities. Mike Scott reports
Mining is a challenging business, but many extraction companies are finding their greatest challenges lie not under the ground but above it: dealing with their impacts on local communities.
These cover the full gamut of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, ranging from pollution and water use to the effects on local communities, including labour conditions, the level of tax that firms pay and bribery and corruption concerns (see video from United Nations Environment below).
According to Dutch NGO the Responsible Mining Foundation, which this month published the inaugural Responsible Mining Index ranking the top 30 mining companies on their performance on six different ESG issues, many mining companies have established responsible policies and practices on specific issues.
But it says few companies have taken a systemic approach to addressing the full gamut of their impacts, or follow up their own policy commitments with effective, company-wide action. The index states there was: “Little or no action on some issues on which companies would be expected to act, such as monitoring the impacts of mining on children,...