Tag Archives: International Council on Mining and Metals

Barrick Gold advances emissions reductions targets after a year of ESG positives in 2020

Barrick Gold has decided to up the ESG ante with a new emissions reduction target to 2030 that makes its goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 that much more achievable.

The company said its ESG strategy delivered tangible results in 2020, included zero Class 1 environmental incidents, a new record of 79% water recycling and re-use by its operations, and the introduction of fully functional community development committees at all its operating sites to guide its social investment programs.

Speaking in a virtual presentation on sustainability this week, Barrick President and CEO, Mark Bristow, said: “At the beginning of last year, we set an emissions reduction target of 10% by 2030 against a 2018 baseline that combined the data from the legacy Barrick and Randgold operations as well as newly acquired assets. Through the year, we worked on identifying further reduction opportunities and this has enabled us to set an updated target of at least 30% by 2030 with an interim reduction target of 15% based on projects already being implemented, while maintaining a steady production profile.”

He added: “Ultimately our aim is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, achieved primarily through greenhouse gas reductions and offsets for some hard-to-abate emissions,” he said.

Sustainability has long been a strategic business priority for the company, according to Bristow.

“Our strategy is based on four pillars: the creation of economic benefits for all stakeholders; the protection of health and safety at our mines and in their host communities; a respect for human rights; and the minimisation of our environmental impacts. For us, ESG is not a corporate compliance function: it’s integral to how we manage our businesses worldwide.”

In the same presentation, Barrick’s Group Sustainability Executive, Grant Beringer, said all the company’s sites had been certified to the ISO 14001:2015 environmental management standard. Each site had also been empowered to manage its own environmental issues under the oversight of the group’s strategic leadership. There was a particularly rigorous approach to management of tailings facilities, the company added.

Beringer said: “Our tailings and heap leach management standard has been aligned with the recently updated guidelines of the International Council on Mining and Metals, of which Barrick is a member, as well as those of the Mining Association of Canada. The standard sets out six levels of inspection and surety for the safe operation of tailings and heap leach facilities.”

ICMM appoints Rohitesh Dhawan as new Chief Executive Officer

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) has announced the appointment of Rohitesh Dhawan as Chief Executive Officer, following a competitive global selection process, to succeed Tom Butler, who will step down on April 6, 2021.

Dhawan is a sustainability specialist with significant experience in the resources sector. His most recent role was as Managing Director and Head of the EMEA region at Eurasia Group, a geopolitical research and analysis firm, where he led the climate change and sustainability practice. Prior to this, Dhawan’s roles included Global Head of Sustainability for the Mining Sector and Global Strategy Director at KPMG International. He currently serves on the expert panel on climate change for the UK government’s Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transitions Programme (PACT).

Richard Adkerson, ICMM Chair and Chairman and CEO of Freeport-McMoRan, said: “I am pleased to welcome Rohitesh as CEO of ICMM. He brings a deep commitment to sustainable development, and strong on-the-ground experience. His extensive knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing our industry will be invaluable as we work together to address some of the biggest issues facing our sector, and advancing important initiatives that reflect our collective commitment to continuous performance improvement.

“I would also like to recognise Tom’s outstanding contribution to ICMM over the last six years, and on behalf of the council, I would like to thank him for his leadership and commitment. I am looking forward to working with Rohitesh to build on the strong foundation that Tom leaves behind.”

On his appointment, Dhawan said: “I am excited to be joining ICMM in arguably the most important decade for the industry. The foundations of a net zero emissions economy are being laid now, and minerals are critical to it. But many environmental, social and governance challenges remain unresolved, and I can think of no better vehicle than ICMM to convene the necessary solutions. I’m delighted to be in service of an industry that touches all our lives, and to join an organisation that is united in the goal of achieving the highest possible standards of sustainability.”

Tom Butler, CEO of ICMM said: “It has been an immense privilege to lead ICMM. During my tenure we have tackled some key challenges, but much remains to be done. I am pleased to be handing the reins over to such a strong leader for the next phase. I want to take this opportunity to thank our members and everyone in the ICMM team for their sterling support over the last six years.”

New ICMM reports reinforce mining’s role in economic development of host countries

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) has published two reports that highlight the contribution the mining industry makes to the economic development of host countries.

‘The Mining Contribution Index (MCI)’ and ‘ICMM Members’ Tax Contribution Report: 2019 Update’ demonstrate the pivotal role mining plays in many national economies, and the contribution it makes throughout commodity cycles, according to the ICMM.

The Mining Contribution Index (MCI): 5th Edition
This report shows that between 2016 and 2018, many of the world’s poorest countries relied on their income from mining as the primary driver of economic activity. As a result, 21 of the top 25 ranked countries in this edition qualify as “resource dependent” using the criteria applied in ICMM’s Social progress in mining-dependent countries report, it said.

Published every two years, the MCI ranks 183 countries from across the world according to the relative importance of mining to the economy of that country. The fifth edition saw seven new entrants to the top ranked 25 countries, with Suriname and the Democratic Republic of the Congo retaining the top spots. Across all five editions of the MCI, the top 25 remain dominated by low and middle-income economies.

Notably, six of the seven countries that dropped out of the top 25 in this edition were African, a contrast to the increase in African countries within the top 25 in the previous edition. These changes were due to a recovery in gross domestic product across the continent between 2016 and 2018, the ICMM said

“The fifth edition of the MCI confirms that many of the world’s most mining-dependent countries continue to rely on their natural resources as the primary driver of economic activity,” it said. “The Natural Resource Governance (NRGI) Institute’s Resource Governance Index rates 84% of the top 25 ranked countries in the MCI as weak, poor, or failing. It is therefore clear that there is more to do to ensure that mining’s contribution to national economies is maximised and that mineral wealth translates into broader-based economic and social progress.”

The ICMM Members’ Tax Contribution report: 2019 Update
This report, prepared by PwC, extends the dates covered by ICMM’s first Members’ Tax Contribution Report, to include 2018 and 2019. Over the full 2013-2019 commodity cycle, ICMM member survey participants reported corporate income tax (CIT) payments of $96.6 billion and royalty payments of $56.7 billion, totalling a contribution of 153.3 billion to public finances. During those seven years, for every $100 of profit before impairments, $39.40 was charged in corporate income tax and royalties, according to the report.

The 2019 update of the ICMM Members’ Tax Contribution report shows that after a decline in the first half of 2016, commodity prices recovered, and, together with general economic growth, led to an increase of tax and royalties. “However, even in 2016, when some members were making little to no profit, they still paid $5.5 billion in royalties, thus providing a dependable stream of revenue for host governments through the cycle,” the ICMM said.

In 2018 and 2019, the members of ICMM which completed the most recent survey reported total CIT and royalties of $25.5 billion and $26.8 billion, respectively, which was an increase from $17.3 billion in 2017.

Nicky Black, Director of Social and Economic Development at ICMM, said: “Taken collectively, both reports paint a picture of the contribution mining makes at a national level. We know from the Social progress in mining-dependent countries report that responsible mining can be transformative, leading to substantial reductions in levels of poverty and overall improvements in social wellbeing. Mining companies stimulate economic activity by providing exports, the revenue from which can be invested in education, healthcare, infrastructure and supporting government.”

She added: “ICMM members recognise that efficient, effective, transparent, and stable resource governance is critical in ensuring that mineral wealth translates into broad-based economic and social progress. Through these reports ICMM hopes to encourage evidence-based debate and focus attention on the vital role of effective mineral resource governance.”

Gold Fields to trial Caterpillar dual-fuel solution on haul trucks at Tarkwa mine

Gold Fields plans to test the use of LNG to power haul trucks in a trial at its Tarkwa open-pit gold mine in Ghana, CEO Nick Holland told attendees of the IMARC Online event this week.

Speaking on a panel reviewing progress of the Innovation for Cleaner, Safer Vehicles (ICSV) initiative – a supply chain collaboration between the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) – Holland said the trial would involve a mix of LNG and diesel fuel at the operation, and four trucks would initially be tested with the fuel combination in 2021.

Gold Fields later confirmed to IM that the trial would take place in the second half of 2021 and involve the use of Caterpillar’s dual-fuel LNG Dynamic Gas Blending (DGB) retrofit system on four of the mine’s Cat 785C 146 t payload dump trucks.

The DGB conversion kits, available on Cat 785C and 793D haul trucks, are a dual-fuel technology that enables miners to substitute diesel fuel with LNG, according to Cat. The use of LNG has been proven to reduce emissions by up to 30%, as well as lower costs by up to 30%, Cat says.

DGB vaporises liquid fuel into natural gas, then replaces diesel fuel with LNG when possible. On average, DGB replaces about 60-65% of diesel with LNG, according to Cat.

Tarkwa, which is 90% owned by Gold Fields, produced 519,000 oz of gold in 2019, 1% lower than the 525,000 oz produced in 2018. It employs Engineers & Planners Co Ltd as mining contractor.

While this trial will potentially lower the company’s carbon emissions – as will Gold Fields’ plan to fit “diesel filters” on all its machines underground in the next 12-18 months – Holland pointed to a much loftier long-term goal during the ICSV panel.

“The challenge to our teams and OEMs is to move away from diesel completely,” he said.

Such a move could see the company employ both battery-powered and hydrogen-powered solutions at its underground mines, he added.

More OEMs join the ICMM’s Innovation for Cleaner, Safer Vehicles initiative

The Innovation for Cleaner, Safer Vehicles (ICSV) initiative – a supply chain collaboration between the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) – has made significant progress towards understanding what is needed to transform today’s fleet of mining vehicles into tomorrow’s new generation of cleaner, safer vehicles, members of its CEO Advisory Group announced today at IMARC Online.

The ambitions of the ICSV initiative are to introduce greenhouse gas emission-free surface mining vehicles by 2040, minimise the operational impact of diesel exhaust by 2025 and make vehicle collision avoidance technology available to mining companies by 2025.

Two years on from announcing these ambitions, eight new OEMs have joined the initiative, taking the number of participating OEMs to 19, the ICMM said. This includes 3MTech, Behault, Future Digital communications, MTU, Miller Technologies, Miller Technologies, Nerospec, Newtrax and Torsa, the ICMM confirmed to IM.

ICMM members, representing around 30% of the global metals market with over 650 assets, have undertaken assessments to establish a clearer view of the progress made at site level towards each ICSV ambition. These assessments indicate ICMM members are generally at early stages of maturity in the journey, and show what progress will look like for each ambition, the ICMM said.

“This significant representation of industry can speak with an aligned voice, on aligned objectives with OEMs and third-party technology providers,” it added. “In its first two years, the ICSV initiative has achieved the critical step of sending strong signals to OEMs and third-party technology providers on their requirements, and on what is needed to accelerate development and adoption of technology across the industry.”

The initiative is led by a CEO Advisory Group comprising each leader of BHP, Anglo American, Gold Fields, Caterpillar, Komatsu and Sandvik, several members of which spoke today at IMARC Online about the collaborative model.

Nick Holland, Chief Executive, Gold Fields (and Chair of the CEO Advisory Group), said there was a critical need to advance work on cleaner, safer vehicles in mining, which will have important health and safety benefits and contribute towards the pressing need of decarbonising the mining industry.

“It is recognised that there are measures we can implement now, but other, more impactful, interventions are reliant on technology pathways that are still evolving,” he said. “This will undoubtedly take time, but the industry’s collaboration with OEMs, through the ICMM, is critical as we look for these long-term, sustainable and integrated solutions.”

Mike Henry, Chief Executive, BHP, added: “Safer, cleaner mining equipment is important for our people and the world. No one party can tackle this on their own though. The ICSV initiative brings together equipment manufacturers and ICMM members to accelerate the innovations required to improve equipment safety and reduce emissions. This is a great example of the collaborative industry-level effort that can help bring about the scale and pace of change that is needed.”

Denise Johnson, Group President, Caterpillar, said the OEM was committed to helping customers operate safely and sustainably, with the ICSV initiative helping it collaborate even more closely with the mining industry in these important areas.

“Its progress to date has helped to form a shared understanding of where the industry is on its journey and demonstrates that by working together we can more quickly accelerate the pace of change,” she said of the initiative.

Tom Butler, CEO, ICMM, added: “Partnership and collaboration fuels long-term sustainable development, and is crucial to addressing some of the mining industry’s biggest sustainability challenges. Progress made on the ICSV initiative has been building the widespread confidence needed to accelerate the level of innovation investment required to scale up commercial solutions. The initiative will benefit the entire industry and is open to all OEMs who would like to join.”

ICMM has developed tools to support the industry, OEMs and third-party technology providers to meet the initiative’s ambitions, it said. These tools include an ICSV Knowledge Hub that, the ICMM says, facilitates knowledge sharing of industry innovations, provides technical and practical resources including case studies, standards, regulations and a technology and solutions database.

Additionally, a set of “maturity frameworks” that help to “map, motivate and measure” progress against the ambitions have been published, with the intention to stimulate conversations within companies that drive thinking, decision making and action, it added.

In 2021, ICMM’s company members will focus on integrating the initiative’s goals into their corporate planning processes, allocating internal resources and effectively leveraging external resources such as synergies with other industry initiatives and collaboration between member companies, the ICMM said.

ICMM’s Butler talks tailings on anniversary of Brumadinho collapse

One year on from the Brumadinho dam collapse, ICMM CEO, Tom Butler, says the mining industry may have made progress with how it operates, but it still has much more to do to on the environmental, social and governance front.

The collapse, which reportedly killed 270 people, was attributed to poor internal drainage and intense rain among other factors, Vale said back in December.

In a statement, he said: “The dam collapse at Vale’s Corrego do Feijão mine in Brumadinho, Brazil, on January 25, 2019, was a human and environmental tragedy. One year on, we remember the victims of this catastrophic event and our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones.

“The anniversary is a stark reminder that, while the mining and metals industry has come a long way in improving how it operates, there is still much more to do to safeguard lives, improve its environmental performance and demonstrate transparency.

“Shortly after the disaster, in an effort to drive change and establish best practice, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) co-convened the Global Tailings Review to establish an international standard for the safer management of tailings storage facilities. The Global Tailings Standard, once endorsed by all three co-conveners, will be published later this year. The standard will become a commitment of ICMM membership and we will encourage others to join us in advocating for it to be adopted more broadly across the industry.

“In addition, ICMM is taking action by working in partnership – with technology providers, experts and researchers – to promote innovation in the monitoring and surveillance of tailings storage facilities and the development of alternative methods of mineral recovery to significantly reduce or eliminate the generation of tailings.”

Global Tailings Review opens public consultation period

The ICMM-backed Global Tailings Review has launched a public consultation on its draft Global Tailings Standard in order to “develop a robust, fit-for-purpose international standard for the safer management of tailings”.

The public consultation, which ends on December 31, will take place in two parts.

First: online via a survey which has been translated into seven languages. Second: in-country consultations across a range of mining jurisdictions in the northern and southern hemispheres.

The Global Tailings Review was co-convened by the United Nations Environment Programme, International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and Principles for Responsible Investment following the tailings dam collapse at Brumadinho, Brazil on January 25, 2019, to establish an international standard on tailings facilities management. The final Global Tailings Standard will need to be endorsed by all three parties.

The draft standard addresses six key topics:

  • Knowledge base – requires mine operators to develop knowledge about the social, economic and environmental context of a proposed or existing tailings facility;
  • Affected communities – focuses on the people living and working nearby. It requires human rights due diligence and meaningful engagement of project-affected people;
  • Design, construction, operation and monitoring of tailings facilities – aims to review design, construction, operation and monitoring of tailings facilities;
  • Management and governance – focuses on ongoing management and governance of tailings facilities. It defines a number of key roles, essential systems and critical processes;
  • Emergency response and long-term recovery – covers emergency preparedness and response in the event of a disaster, the re-establishment of ecosystems, and the long-term recovery of affected communities; and
  • Public disclosure and access to information – requires public access to information about tailings facilities in order for all stakeholders to be informed of the risks and impacts, management and mitigation plans, and performance monitoring.

“The review is committed to transparency and once the final standard is published, the Global Tailings Review will provide a consultation report that reflects feedback, key themes, topics and sentiments from different stakeholder groups, as well as how that feedback was processed and addressed in the final version of the standard,” the ICMM said.

It is expected that the final standard and accompanying recommendations report, which will outline broader proposals to support the uptake and implementation of the standard, will be published in 2020.

The ICMM publishes mining climate change report

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) has launched a report ‘Adapting to a Changing Climate: Building resilience in the mining and metals industry’ at WWF’s Water Summit 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany, today.

The report shares learnings from ICMM’s company members on how to build operational resilience and how to assess and manage the physical impacts of climate change at mine sites, it said. “It provides practical guidance that aims to help the mining and metals industry build climate resilience by enhancing the sustainability of communities and ecosystems, limiting future liabilities, safeguarding business continuity and making prudent investments,” the ICMM said.

ICMM company members recognise the need for an urgent global response to the threat of climate change across all areas of society and the economy, according to the ICMM. “They are committed to being part of the solution by mitigating CO2 emissions at site level and across the supply chain, building resilience to adequately respond to climate related risks and continuing to contribute to the sustainable production of commodities essential to the energy and mobility transitions.”

Earlier today, during a panel discussion at the Summit, Tom Butler, CEO of ICMM, said: “Our climate is changing, and this presents challenges for the mining and metals sector. Understanding this challenge, ICMM has collated insights and developed tools that can support our members and any responsible mining company to build resilience by identifying and properly managing these risks.

“Fundamental to the way ICMM operates is sharing knowledge and experience with each other and I am pleased today to share what we have learned so far with the publication of this report.”