Evolving Standards and Expectations for Responsible Mining: A Civil Society Perspective
This paper was presented to the World Mining Congress, 2013 held in Montreal QC.
MiningWatch Canada is the only national independent civil society organization with an exclusive focus on mining in Canada and Canadian mining companies operations internationally. In 2005, MiningWatch Canada collaborated with other NGOs to develop the Framework for Responsible Mining: A Guide to Evolving Standards. The project was the result of a perceived need by NGOs and retailers, particularly from the jewellery sector, for a framework that would set out environmental, social, and governance standards for the minerals sector “providing recommendations for retailers and others seeking to source or invest responsibly, as well as regulate and encourage responsible mining practices.”
This paper is a reflection on the Framework that examines key areas of concern and notes where the industry norms and expectations of civil society have evolved. The paper focuses on developments in social issues related to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, new initiatives associated with financial transparency, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The environmental components of the Framework that are revisited are waste management, biodiversity, energy and climate change, environmental assessment, mine closure, mercury and seabed mining.