The mining industry, which is a critical economic driver in low-to-middle income countries, accounting for up to 90% of foreign direct investment, 60% of exports and 20% of government revenue, is in a unique position to work with governments and other development partners to support poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
This is according to international copper and zinc mining company MMG CEO Andrew Michelmore, who was last week appointed Chair of the Council of CEOs of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), replacing outgoing chair Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani.
Michelmore, who was elected to chair what is, in essence, the ICMM’s governing body, believes that the contributions made by mining can act as an economic catalyst for supporting the development of communities, regions and whole economies.
“We need to recognise the importance of responsible practice across the complex social, economic and environmental aspects of mining,” he says.
Bringing together 23 of the world’s leading mining and metals companies and 35 national mining and commodity associations, the ICMM has driven significant improvements in sustainable development across industry since its formation in 2001.
Over the last 14 years ICMM has shown significant progress in raising standards within the mining and metals industry through best practice guidance, policy engagement and collaborative partnerships.
Michelmore said that the ICMM’s task is not only to continue its work in this area but to understand the changing needs and concerns of society and how our industry can best work with all.
In achieving this goal, Cutifani, during his two years as chair, has demonstrated the importance of strengthening relationships based on transparency and trust, particularly with communities and civil society.
MMG, which has been a member of the ICMM for six years, joining the organisation shortly after the company’s formation in June 2009, recognises the value in working collaboratively to address social and environmental challenges. “One of our first actions upon the formation of MMG was to apply for membership of ICMM,”Michelmore said.
“With our unique ownership structure, growing global footprint and demonstrated commitment to building local capacity, I believe MMG contributes to the diversity of perspectives within the ICMM’s group of members,” he said.
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