Global Agenda Council on Responsible Mineral Resources Management 2012-2013
The development of mineral resources is an important catalyst for global economic growth. It has the potential to transform economies and societies, including some of the world’s poorest nations, but the extent to which it has fulfilled this potential varies. Using these resources effectively offers an excellent opportunity for social and economic transformation.
Mineral development can drive socio-economic development in ways that integrate with local and national priorities. In particular, it contributes to a country’s development by generating foreign direct investment, export earnings, government revenues (through royalties, taxes, licences and fees), gross domestic product (GDP) growth and employment. Given the complexity of the extractive industry and the wide variations in its political, economic, regulatory, physical and cultural environments, however, no solution is universally applicable.
In some countries the risks of investment for mining companies can outweigh potential benefits. Investment is vulnerable if there are unexpected changes to the law that undermine the original terms of agreement, since these terms underpin its economic viability and make the original investment feasible. Companies feel threatened by rising resource nationalism and the associated possibility of unexpected change. Governments may suspect that they are not receiving an appropriate share of benefits from a project. Sometimes this occurs if agreements made under previous administrations were marred by corruption or an imbalance in negotiating capacity. Civil society can feel that communities are suffering damage to their health and environment while missing out on social and economic benefits. All of this may be compounded by poor communication and a lack of transparency, leading to misunderstanding and distrust.
It is therefore crucial that stakeholders in those societies have confidence that the economic and social benefits from mining will be distributed equitably, while respecting their culture, environment and future economic stability.
- The development of mineral resources, a key driver of global economic growth, has the potential to transform economies and societies, including some of the world’s poorest nations.
- The World Bank estimates that currently 15 to 20 million artisans and small-scale miners are operating in 30 countries with 80-100 million people depending on such mining for their livelihood.
- The global mining and metals industry makes up around 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
“Transparency is essential to ensure prosperity for resource-rich countries, building the trust necessary for effective collaboration among stakeholders.”
Huguette Labelle, Chair, Transparency International
Responsible Mineral Development Initiative 2011
Mining & Metals Scenarios to 2030
The Rise of Resource Nationalism: A Resurgence of State Control in an Era of Free Markets Or the Legitimate Search for a New Equilibrium?
Asian Mining Indaba
29-31 October 2012
African Mining Indaba
4-7 February 2013
Cape Town, South Africa
Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) 2013
3-6 March 2012
El Centro de Estudios del Cobre y la Minería (CESCO) Week
8-13 April 2013
The Global Agenda Council on Responsible Mineral Resources Management strives to develop a more responsible, sustainable approach to mineral development and resource management.
During 2011, in an effort to provide a framework of practical solutions to the challenges of responsible mineral development, the Council played a leading role in the second phase of the World Economic Forum’s Responsible Mineral Development Initiative (RMDI).
The research revealed that a fundamental, underlying challenge is an insufficient level of trust among governments, civil society and mining companies, which gives rise to many related problems. The second phase of the RMDI project, conducted throughout 2011, focused on identifying solutions to these problems.
During the 2012-14 term, the Council will continue to focus on the RMDI and support the Forum in achieving these key objectives and deliverables set for the third phase of the initiative: 1) use the “Advancing Responsible Mining” framework to facilitate country deep dives; 2) disseminate and share the framework with the different stakeholders; and 3) continue alignment with all the relevant stakeholders involved in mineral development.
The world’s mineral resources are increasingly being sourced from developing countries where issues around water, energy and food are already significant. Integrated land use planning and resource management approaches will be fundamental to addressing these complex resource challenges in a systematic and predictive way. To foster its impact on these issues, the Council aims to collaborate in various ways with other Members of the Network of Global Agenda Councils.
By employing the inherent strengths, resources and influence of the Forum, the Council is committed to providing direction and momentum towards responsible, sustainable mineral development, and to help realize the potential this industry has to offer for the benefit of societies in developing countries.
Research Analyst: Sandra Miura, Research Analyst, Global Agenda Councils, email@example.com
Council Manager: Michael Tost, Associate Director, Head of Mining & Metals Industry, firstname.lastname@example.org
Forum Lead: Alex Wong, Senior Director, Head of Business Engagement and Head of Basics and Infrastructure Industries, email@example.com