Accelerating responsible mining: spotlight on industry and multistakeholder initiatives

Industry bodies and multistakeholder organisations have an important role to play in advancing responsible mining by setting requirements or standards for company policies and practices. While each of these kinds of initiatives has its own objective and focus, all aim to encourage better practice. Yet their effectiveness and credibility are often limited by issues such as a low-bar ambition, an overly narrow scope, or a lack of clear requirements to demonstrate compliance. Most importantly, the initiatives have little or no provisions for publicly disclosing the full results of audits (or self-assessments) of compliance/performance, and none require disclosure of the raw data or documentary evidence used in the audits/assessments.

This lack of public sharing of the evidence behind verification checks means that the detailed information collected on companies’ ESG policies, practices and performances rests with – and stops at – the assurance bodies. As such, these initiatives miss an important opportunity to support the strategic imperative of meaningful information-sharing. And the time lag between each ‘snapshot’ audit fails to incentivise more frequent and ongoing information sharing.

Why does meaningful information-sharing matter?

Proactive information sharing on public interest information can:

  • Strengthen the credibility of company commitments and claims;
  • Improve trust in the certification or assurance process;
  • Accelerate industry-wide peer learning;
  • Enable informed engagement and agenda-setting between stakeholders and companies;
  • Reduce the power disparity between companies and affected stakeholders; and
  • Support trust between companies and other stakeholders

The RMI Framework articulates society expectations of mining companies. In support of the normalisation of responsible mining practices across the industry, RMF has conducted assessments of effective performance across a sample of six initiatives. The assessments use customised extracts of the RMI Report 2022 results and as such are based on public domain data. The RMI Report indicators selected for each assessment serve as proxy indicators of the extent to which the relevant companies are implementing the requirements/principles/expectations of each initiative. It may be that the weak results seen in the assessments relate to a lack of public domain data on these public interest issues.

These assessments have been shared with the organisations involved, as part of RMF’s regular engagement processes. They are published here to help foster and inform debate on opportunities to strengthen the impact that these and similar initiatives have on the shared aim to normalise and accelerate responsible mining.

Click on the links below to download the individual assessments of: