May 17, 2020

How-To: Implement Sustainable Development Principles in Mining

International Council of Mining & Metals
3 min
How-To: Implement Sustainable Development Principles in Mining
The mining industry is progressing. Companies are beginning to see the importance of strong ethical programs aimed at enriching environments and communi...

The mining industry is progressing. Companies are beginning to see the importance of strong ethical programs aimed at enriching environments and communities in which they operate. Cultivating and implementing new sustainable programs is becoming the standard for responsible mining.

In 2003, the International Council of Mining & Metals (ICMM) commissioned member companies to implement and measure their performance against 10 sustainable development principles.

According to the association the 10 principles are as followed:

1. Implement and maintain ethical business practices and sound systems of corporate governance.

Establish policies and practices that adhere to company statements of ethical business principles. This could include anything from programs aimed at preventing bribery and corruption incidents to comply the requirements of host-country laws and regulations.

2. Integrate sustainable development considerations within the corporate decision-making process.

Plan, design, operate and close operations in a manner that enhances sustainable development. Make sure to integrate sustainable development principles into practices as well as provide adequate training. Work to innovate and improve social, environmental and economic performance while enhancing shareholder value.

3. Uphold fundamental human rights and respect cultures, customs and values in dealings with employees and others who are affected by our activities.

Along with respecting the culture and heritage of local communities, work to ensure impact on surrounding areas is minimized. Strive to ensure staff is provided with appropriate culture and human rights training and guidance.  Put policies in place to eliminate harassment and unfair discrimination in all mining aspects.0

4. Implement risk management strategies based on valid data and sound science.

Companies should consult with local communities in the identification, assessment and management of all significant social, health, safety, environmental and economic impacts associated with mining. Review and updates should be continuous.

5. Seek continual improvement of our health and safety performance.

Develop and implement health and safety training programs among all employees, including employees of contractors.  Take all measures possible to preventive fatalities, injuries and diseases.

6. Seek continual improvement of our environmental performance.

Continue to improve. Assess the environmental positive and negative impacts of each new project and develop a management system to track, review and prevent environmental impacts. Concentrate on the long-term effect the project and ways to effectively prevent and dispose of residual wastes.

7. Contribute to conservation of biodiversity and integrated approaches to land use planning.

Support and implement innovative procedures for integrated approaches to land use planning, biodiversity, conservation and mining.

8. Facilitate and encourage responsible product design, use, re-use, recycling and disposal of our products.

Support and implement the use of scientifically sound policies, regulations, product standards and material choice decisions. Promote the use of safe mineral and metal products.

9. Contribute to the social, economic and institutional development of the communities in which we operate.

Engage, encourage and contribute to local communities from beginning to end. Ensure the appropriate systems are in place for ongoing interaction with affected parties. Form partnerships with governments and non-governmental organizations to develop programs to enhance community health, education and local business development.

10. Implement effective and transparent engagement, communication and independently verified reporting arrangements with our stakeholders.

Be open and transparent with operations. Report on economic, social and environmental performance and contribution to sustainable development.


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Jun 29, 2021

Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations

battery metals
2 min
Vale’s $150mn investment in operations at Thompson, Manitoba will extend mine life by 10 years

Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.

Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel

The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.

“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.

“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”

Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba

Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.

“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.

“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”

The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history.  Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.

“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.

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