Newsletter 1/2014 - Best Practice

Editorial

Europe has a proud history of mining. But history is not static, it is what we make and what we live, today and tomorrow.

Without geology there can be no mines, without funding there can be no mines and without permits there can be no mines. Europe has a viable long-term resource base situated within one of the world’s largest and most mature economies. Worldwide the demand for both resources and products is increasing dramatically. The EU provides a robust enabling environment for the achievement of the highest sustainable standards in mining in a relatively small geographic space that is increasingly urbanized.

Greek Presidency Conference

It is a great pleasure for Euromines to invite you to the Raw Materials High Level Conference:

“Maximising value: The Importance of the extractive industry to growth in the EU economy and its regions”

The conference is included in the official programme of the Greek Presidency of the EU and is fully endorsed by the Greek Ministry of Environment Energy and Climate Change.

Best Practice in Mineral Policy – Finland

Mining shows its potential in Finland

In recent years, several new mines have been opened in Finland. The mining boom has increased economic activity and brought more jobs particularly in remote areas in the Northern and Eastern parts of Finland.

In 2013, there were a total of 46 mines and quarries regulated under the new Mining Act (2011) operating in Finland. The volume of metal ores extracted continues to increase, as new mines are being established and beginning to start production. The excavated volumes of industrial minerals have stayed at the previous years' level. Investments in exploration declined as in every mining field on the globe. This refers to the uncertain economic situation.

Best Practice in Mineral Policy – Portugal

Promoting the mining sector – Portuguese National Strategy

Responsible exploitation of geological resources constitutes an important development that can considerably contribute to the performance of the national economy of the European Member States. To do so, it is required prior consolidation of a sustainable policy that addresses in an integrated manner the economic, social and environmental aspects, as well as the definition of an efficient legal and institutional framework.

Best Practice in H&S

Coordination, cooperation and commitment is the key to success

Planning and coordination, cooperation between client and contractors and a shared commitment to safety issues are the ingredients for the safety work in the giant project expansion of Boliden Garpenberg.

The latest industry statistics from the Swedish mining industry association SveMin indicate a long-term declining trend in the accident frequency; that is, the number of accidents resulting in absence per million hours worked. The mining industry is better than the industry average in Sweden; an acknowledgement of the conducted safety work.

Best Practice in Communication

Changing expectations, changing communications

Mining provides the materials needed for development and upkeep of our modern lifestyle, it has the potential to lift a country out of poverty and its products touch all other industries. For those of us working in mining these are well known truths. And yet, all over the world experience tells us that conflict around mining is increasing, communities are not convinced a mine in their backyard will benefit them, governments have mixed views on the benefits of exploiting their natural resources and investor confidence is dropping.

EC proposal for a regulation on responsible sourcing of minerals from conflict affected and high-risk areas

Responsible sourcing of minerals from conflict affected and high-risk areas

The European Commission (EC) published on the 5th of March 2014 a proposal for a regulation “setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict affected and high-risk areas”.

This proposal aims at setting up:

  • an EU voluntary self-certification scheme based on OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas
  • for companies importing into the EU tin, tantalum, tungsten (3T) and gold (same minerals as the Dodd Frank Section 1502) whose precise CN code is listed in Annex I of the proposal
  • from conflict-affected and high risk areas widely defined as “areas in a state of armed conflict, fragile post-conflict as well as areas witnessing weak or non-existent governance and security, such as failed states, and widespread and systematic violations of international law, including human rights abuses;” (article 2, (e) of the proposal).

Vital friends

Importance of engaging with stakeholders

The recent World Gold Council reputation study highlights partnerships and stakeholder engagement as an area where progress has been made, as well as showing that there is room for improvement. Their conclusions reflect how society’s expectations of mining and metals companies are exerting a pressure for change, putting big issues on the corporate radar. The European Commission’s European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials is an example of engagement involving Euromines. In our industry we collaborate extensively. And in early 2014 The World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Responsible Mineral Resources Management has identified seven drivers for change (including stakeholder engagement) that are affecting the sector today, based on ten years of research. Also, ‘relationship-building’ articles in Mining, People and Environment journal recently cite signals from PDAC 2014 that “participants acknowledged that having a licence to operate is no longer adequate and that securing a social licence to operate  is increasingly hard to come by”. It goes on to cite how the concept of ‘creating shared value’ (CSV) is gaining traction in the mining industry.