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Corporate Social Responsibility and the mining industry

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Oliver Heidrich, Professor David ManningORCiD


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There are some 2500 industrial scale metal-producing mines worldwide, 25,000 producing industrial minerals, 100, 000 quarries producing aggregates and 24 000 coal mines. Together they produce annually about US$350 billion of mined metals and minerals. The size of mining companies ranges from multinational giants, mid-tier, to smaller companies often running just one or two mines. Large projects are the equivalent of a major civil engineering projects and manufacturing plant combined, for example the Rio Tinto development of the Simandou iron ore mine in the Republic of Guinea or closer to home the historic mines in Northumberland and the proposed potash mines in Yorkshire. At the other end of the scale are smaller industrial scale mines and suppliers. The practices of sustainable development are applicable to SMEs and large operations alike and although the mining industry recognised some time ago the importance of such communication tools there is now plethora of legislation, standards and guidelines, reporting and communication mechanisms. Almost all mining company websites now have a section on sustainability and/or corporate social responsibility and various published material on scoping and defining standards for responsible mining are available. This paper illustrates the linkages between legislation, regulations, sustainability/CSR reporting and company practices; it describes what data and reporting of sustainable production and corporate social practices may already exist. We propose a framework to position existing management standards and reporting tools not only for large but also for SME mining operators and suppliers.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Heidrich O, Wall F, Manning D, Glass H

Editor(s): Bleischwitz, R; Ekins, P;

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Stewardship for Planet Earth- Sustainable Resources & Governance

Year of Conference: 2014

Online publication date: 06/11/2014

Acceptance date: 04/11/2014

Series Title: UCL Grand Challenge Symposium 2014

Sponsor(s): BHP Billiton