Limited action on key ESG issues by mining companies in Latin America

Research Insight

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Mining companies operating in Latin American and the Caribbean are generally failing to match their corporate ESG commitments with basic responsible actions at their mine sites.

Based on the RMI Report 2020, a new study by the Swiss-based Responsible Mining Foundation (RMF) and Centro Vincular-PUCV in Chilereveals that 20 mining companies with operations in the LAC region all too rarely implement their corporate-level commitments and systems across their mine sites. The study presents evidence that six LAC-based companies are generally failing to show leadership on issues of particular pertinence to the region, such as human rights defenders, Indigenous Peoples, mine closure, rehabilitation and water. The six companies (either registered, or with operations solely, in the LAC region) include Antofagasta, Buenaventura, CODELCO, Grupo México, Industrias Peñoles and Vale.

The study points out that while the industry in this key mining region has huge potential to contribute to sustainable development, it can also pose a threat to the lives and livelihoods of communities and workers, and the environments in producing countries.

Drawing on good models and leading practices seen in the region, the study recommends ways forward for companies and governments to advance responsible mining based on internationally recognised norms.

A valuable starting point for company action would be to apply corporate systems consistently across their mining operations and to transparently share all public-interest information as standard practice.

The mining industry is perhaps evolving faster than it ever did. Corporate cultures are changing and the Latin American and Caribbean region has a key role to play in preventing negative impacts and demonstrating that mining can benefit the economies, improve the lives of peoples and respect the environments of producing countries.

Or read the Study online:

Responsible Mining Foundation

The Responsible Mining Foundation (RMF) is an independent research organisation that encourages continuous improvement in in responsible mining across the industry by developing tools and frameworks, sharing public-interest data and enabling informed and constructive engagement between mining companies and other stakeholders.

As an independent foundation, RMF does not accept funding or other contributions from the minerals and metals industry.