Responsible Mining Index 2018 Highlights Leading Practices, and Shows What is Still to be Done by Large-scale Mining Companies

Responsible Mining Index 2018 Highlights Leading Practices, and Shows What is Still to be Done by Large-scale Mining Companies

PR Newswire

AMSTERDAM, April 11, 2018

AMSTERDAM, April 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

The Responsible Mining Index 2018, covering companies that produce 25% of all mined commodities globally, is launched in Geneva, Switzerland today.

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Among the key findings are:

The Responsible Mining Index 2018 aims to encourage continuous improvement in responsible mining and support leading practice and learning. The Index, which is independent of the industry, covers 30 large-scale mining companies that together represent a quarter of the global production of mined commodities and operate over 700 mines in more than 40 countries.

The Responsible Mining Index 2018 is the first of a multi-year initiative by the Responsible Mining Foundation. The Index assesses and compares company policies and practices across six different EESG areas: economic development, business conduct, lifecycle management, community wellbeing, working conditions and environmental responsibility. As an evidence-based assessment, the Index measures the extent to which companies can demonstrate, rather than simply claim, that they have established responsible policies and practices. In order to support transparency and open data principles, the RMI results, and the information sources used in the assessment, are provided free as a public good.

The Index results show that responsible mining is a realistic goal - it can be done. If a single company were to achieve the highest score recorded for each indicator, it would reach more than 70% of the maximum achievable score. The results also reveal a wide range of companies demonstrating responsible practice on particular issues. Indeed, some 19 of the 30 companies rank among the ten strongest performers for at least one thematic area of the Index. And leading practices are found even on issues for which performances are generally, weak, such as addressing the needs of vulnerable groups in mining-affected communities. These results all point to the strong potential for continuous improvement based on existing practices already demonstrated by a number of different companies.

On the other hand, the results show some marked limitations in current practice. Companies tend to put in place policy commitments without always backing these up with systematic, effective company-wide action. This is seen even for topics where commitments are common and commonly expected, such as human rights and occupational health and safety. Further, the scale and persistence of severe adverse impacts is at odds with the widespread existence of such commitments. For example, worker fatalities and violations of human rights are among the most frequent adverse impacts found in the RMI analysis. In the face of such evidence, strong company commitments are sometimes not matched by company actions, which clearly need to be more effective.

Companies typically show a lack of systematic attention to monitoring their performance on EESG issues and reporting their performance to other stakeholders, including mining-affected communities. This lack of 'knowing and showing' their own performance is most evident at the mine-site level. The vast majority of the 127 sites assessed provide little or no data on key issues of direct interest to local communities, workers and other stakeholders. This includes information on how a site is managing local employment, local procurement, grievance, water use and biodiversity impacts. Without open sharing of such data, it is very difficult for companies to build trust with local communities. Nonetheless a few companies and a few sites are showing the way by putting into practice open data principles to ensure the information reported is easily accessed, understood and used by local communities.

A lack of public reporting is most likely one of the main factors limiting company scores in the Index. Performances might be considerably higher if companies were more transparent about their management of EESG issues. Greater openness would also enable more learning and sharing of good practices.

Hélène Piaget, Chief Executive Officer of the Responsible Mining Foundation said: "With the launch of the Responsible Mining Index 2018, we aimed to create a strong knowledge base that is open to all, and encourages leading practice and learning across the mining industry. We will continue to engage with all stakeholders to support responsible mining, and encourage constructive dialogue between companies and stakeholders - whether they be communities that neighbour mining operations or large institutional investors."

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The Responsible Mining Foundation supports the principle that mining should benefit the economies, improve the lives of peoples, and respect the environments of producing countries, particularly in some of the world's poorest regions, while also benefitting mining companies in a fair and viable way.

RMF defines responsible mining as mining that demonstrably respects and protects the interests of peoples and the environment, and contributes discernibly and fairly to broad economic development of the producing country.

The goal of the Responsible Mining Foundation is to encourage continuous improvement in responsible mining by large-scale minerals and metals mining companies (LSM) across a range of economic, environmental, social and governance (EESG) issues. In support of this goal, the Foundation focuses on research, stakeholder engagement, and the transparent publication of methodologies, results and related data, based on open data principles.

The Foundation approaches its work and research from the perspective of what society at large can reasonably expect from mining companies on economic, environmental, social and governance matters.


The RMI 2018 report, which is attached to the covering email, is a high-level summary of the research and findings. More detailed results on the assessed companies and mine sites, together with a library of some 2000 documents used in the assessment, can be viewed and downloaded on the RMI website from the launch day (April 11, 2018).


A graphic showing the analytical framework is attached to the covering email.

The six thematic areas comprise 73 individual indicators, distributed among three measurement areas:

In addition, six mine-site level indicators were used to assess the selected 127 mine sites on local procurement, local employment, community grievance mechanisms, workers' grievance mechanisms, water quality and quantity management, and biodiversity management.


Company results are presented in relation to: (1) the maximum achievable score (of 6); and (2) the current best practice by all assessed companies, taken together. The value of the current best practice benchmark is the sum of the best scores achieved for all indicators, taking into account all companies' results.


When reviewing the RMI results, it is important to bear in mind that:


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