CHAPTER 16.2 Mining and Sustainability R. Anthony HodgeINTRODUCTION address not only the what, or the substantive part of humanThe 1987 publication of the report, Our Common Future by action, but also the how, or the process part. In other words, inthe United Nations (UN) World Commission on Environment the practical application of sustainable development concepts,and Development (WCED), brought the concept of sustainable not only what we do is important but how we do it.development into the limelight. Chaired by the former Prime Thus, the ideas of sustainable development and sustain-Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, and following ability are different but synchronous. Sustainability is a morehearings held across the world, the commission proposed an general term that captures the idea that we need to maintainagenda for world development that would enhance security certain important aspects of the world over the long term.and reduce North–South disparities. It would be development Sustainable development is the human or action part of this“which meets the needs of the present without compromis- set of ideas: As a society, we want to make choices about ouring the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” actions that allow us to provide for the present without under-(WCED 1987). mining the possibility for future generations to provide for Since then, a rich debate has ensued about what this themselves.means in practical terms. Though many other sets of words Together, these ideas are very appealing. However, theirhave been suggested for defining the phrase sustainable devel- translation to practical action remains much debated. This isopment, the Brundtland Commission definition has stood the not surprising. Human society is complex. There are abouttest of time and remains the anchor. For a rich discussion, 10,000 cells in the standard industrial classification—our waysee the “definitions” portal of the International Institute for of classifying human activities within the market economy.Sustainable Development, or IISD (SD Gateway n.d.) This does not account for many more activities outside the In recent years, the word sustainability has also found its market economy. There are about 200 countries across theway into common use. The idea is simple. Sustainability is the world, and the global ecosystem is complex and not fullypersistence over a long time—indefinitely—of certain neces- understood.sary and/or desired characteristics of both human society and For its part, the mining, minerals, and metals industry hasthe enveloping ecosystem (Robinson et al. 1990). These char- been a particularly active locus of sustainability-related policyacteristics range from primary needs such as air, water, food, and practice innovations becauseclothing, shelter, and basic human rights to a host of condi- • The potential implications—both positive and negative—tions that would collectively be called quality of life, not only of mining activities and the minerals and metals thatfor people but for other life forms as well. result are significant; It is here that the definitional issue becomes difficult • Many interests are touched by mining;for some, because the choice of which characteristics are to • The role of many of these interests in decision making isbe sustained and the degree to which they will be sustained growing (e.g., communities and indigenous people);depends on the particular values that are applied. In turn, these • The nature of contemporary communications systems hasdepend on who is doing the applying. In other words, it is not brought the often dramatic nature of mining operationsa closed definition. What a company CEO chooses as impor- into the public eye; andtant may be different than a politician, doctor, or librarian; • Industry, governments, civil society organizations, andwhat a Mexican chooses may be different from, for example, the public, in general, are all anxious to ensure mininga Tanzanian or Australian. Because of these potential differ- makes a positive contribution that is fairly shared.ences, a fair and effective process of interaction and seek-ing consensus is critical to the practical application of these Importantly, the concept of sustainable development has notideas. Herein lies the rationale for why it is essential to always disappeared like so many “flavor of the month” ideas. Rather,R. Anthony Hodge, President, International Council on Mining & Metals; Professor, Mining & Sustainability, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada 1665
1666 SME Mining Engineering Handbookit has grown in prominence and is now deeply entrenched in of the world’s largest mining companies took an unprec-legislation, government, and corporate policy and practice. edented step.Sustainability is the subject of university curricula, given as a Working through the World Business Council forlabel to vice presidents and departments of mining companies, Sustainable Development, they initiated the Global Miningincorporated into the names of service providers, and included Initiative (GMI). As part of GMI, they commissioned theas an element of key performance indicators. International Institute for Environment and Development This chapter provides an overview that links the ideas (London) to undertake a global review that would lead to theof sustainable development and sustainability to the mining, identification of how mining and minerals can best contributeminerals, and metals industry. To do so, a particular template to the global transition to sustainable development. The result-is used for organizing the many interlinked bodies of knowl- ing project, Mining, Minerals, and Sustainable Developmentedge that must be brought together: the Seven Questions to (MMSD), sparked a large and rich literature, including theSustainability (7QS) (MMSD North America 2002). project’s final report, Breaking New Ground: Mining, Minerals This template is pragmatic though much informed by the and Sustainable Development (MMSD 2002).theoretical foundation of systems theory. It recognizes that to Before the GMI was completed, participants movedbring sustainability ideas into practice for the mining, min- to create an organization that would carry the resulting rec-erals, and metals industry, the hard (well-defined) and the soft ommendations forward to implementation. Thus, in 2001(ill-defined) systems of the real world must both be addressed, and building on the foundation established by ICME, theas well as the objective (independent of judgment) and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) wassubjective (dependent on judgment). In doing so, all must be created. Many of the ideas summarized in this chapter havetreated, if not exactly scientifically (which is not always pos- emerged from or been refined through subsequent work ofsible), at least in a way that is characterized by intellectual ICMM.rigor (see discussion of systems theory and sustainability in Almost simultaneously with these events, NGO pressureHodge 1995 and 1996). The 7QS template weaves together on the World Bank Group led to the initiation in 2001 of aideas from many disciplines but recognizes that deeper explo- multi-interest review of the group’s involvement in extrac-ration is often warranted depending on site-specific condi- tive industries. The Extractive Industries Review sought totions. In this context, the objective of this chapter is to open a test whether or not industry projects could be compatible withdoor as a first step to practical application. the World Bank Group’s goal of sustainable development and poverty reduction. In its final report, Striking a Better BalanceMINING AND METALS INDUSTRY RESPONSE TO (Salim 2003), the review concluded in the affirmative but onlySUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT if three enabling conditions were in place:The 1970s and 1980s were a time of reaction to dramatic 1. Public and corporate governance advocacy for the poor,change for mining. Echoing increasing concern for the envi- including proactive planning and management to maxi-ronment across society, the late 1980s saw a number of lead- mize poverty alleviation through sustainable developmenting mining companies publish “state-of-environment” reports 2. Much more effective social and environmental policiesrelated to their operations. Taking another important step, 30 3. Respect for human rightsleading mining and metals companies from across the worldcame together in 1991 to create the International Council on The resulting refocused World Bank policy emphasizesMetals and the Environment (ICME). ICME would give the strengthened governance and transparency, ensuring that ben-industry an international voice on environmental matters. efits reach the poor, mitigating environmental and social risks, Also in the early 1990s, many of these same companies protecting human rights, and promoting renewable energy andjoined with senior governments, labor unions, aboriginal efficiency to combat climate change. This refocusing has inpeoples, and environmental nongovernmental organizations turn influenced mining approaches to implementing sustain-(NGOs) in a broad review of mining practices in Canada. able development on the ground. In sum, this process hasThe Whitehorse Mining Initiative turned out to be a precur- served to elucidate and reinforce the concepts of sustainablesor of a number of initiatives convened to bring sustainability development addressed in this discussion.ideas to practical application around the world. The resultingLeadership Accord (Whitehorse Mining Initiative Leadership MINING’S CONTRIBUTION TO SUSTAINABLECouncil Accord 1993) is a summons to change, framed within DEVELOPMENTthe context of a commitment to social and environmen- At the base of the interlinked ideas of sustainability and sus-tal goals. It seeks a sustainable mining industry within the tainable development lies the simple idea that any humanframework of an evolving and sustainable society. The ideas activity—including mining—should be undertaken in such ait champions and the multi-interest process it uses elegantly way that the activity itself and the products produced togethercapture sustainable development in practice. provide a net contribution to human and ecosystem well-being For the mining industry, the decade of the 1990s was over the long term.a bleak period. Commodity prices dropped while public From an engineering design perspective in general and acriticism skyrocketed, much driven by a civil society that mine design perspective in particular, this simple idea giveswas quick to take advantage of newly available and quickly rise to an overarching two-dimensional design criterion. Thatevolving computer-based communications. As a whole, the is, mining activity (or any human endeavour for that matter)industry found itself under attack and in a defensive pos- should be designed to achieve (through the activity itself andture. Its social license to operate was threatened (though the products that result) a net contribution to both human andthat particular label was to come later). In the late 1990s and ecosystem well-being over the long term. The achievement offaced with growing concern about access to capital, land, design success should, in turn, be tested against this designand human resources, the chief executive officers of nine criterion.
Mining and Sustainability 1667 Ten Principles for Sustainable Development Seven Position Statements 1. Implement ethical business practices and apply 1. Mining and protected areas good corporate governance. 2. Mining partnerships for development 2. Integrate sustainable development in corporate 3. Climate change decision making. 4. Mining and indigenous peoples 3. Uphold fundamental human rights. 5. Mercury risk management 4. Manage risks based on sound science. 6. Transparency of mineral revenues 5. and 6. Improve environment, health, and safety performance continuously. 7. Mineral resources and economic development 7. Conserve biodiversity and contribute to integrated land-use planning. 8. Encourage a life-cycle approach to materials management. 9. Contribute to community development. 10. Publicly report, independently assure, and engage openly and transparently.Figure 16.2-1 Principles and position statements that comprise the sustainable development framework of ICMM Thus, the focus here is not on how mining can be concentrating and refining. However, in an overarching sense,sustainable—any mining project as a discrete activity cannot the ideas of sustainability and sustainable development callcontinue indefinitely—but on how mining, minerals, and met- for both human and ecosystem well-being to be maintained orals can contribute to sustainable development. This is a con- improved over the long term. Doing one at the expense of theceptual shift away from a singular analysis and mitigation of other is not acceptable because, either way, the foundation ofimpacts to a more comprehensive analysis and encouragement life is undermined.of contribution. The focus on contribution is a tougher but fairer approach. PRINCIPLES AND FRAMEWORKSIt demands consideration of both the good and the bad. (The The nature of applied sustainability is evident from the manyidea that the mining and metals industry should be designed attempts to articulate sustainable development principles. Forfor and tested against its contribution to the well-being of peo- a listing of more than 100 such principles, see the the “prin-ple and the environment—to sustainable development—was ciples” portal of the IISD (n.d.). In short, there is no one-size-first proposed by Professor Robert Gibson in 2000 and later fits-all approach to defining, framing, and characterizing thetaken up in development of the 7QS template [MMSD North ideas of sustainable development and sustainability. One setAmerica 2002; Hodge 2004].) That a mining activity might of principles of particular relevance to the mining industry isbe challenged to make a positive contribution to the ecosys- the 10-part set developed by the ICMM, along with its com-tem over the long term may seem a tough, even impossible plementary set of position statements. ICMM brings togetherchallenge to some. However, articulating explicit engineering 19 of the largest mining companies of the world and, on andesign criteria in this way sets a design objective that is essen- annual basis, member companies assess performance againsttial if mining and metals-related activity and the resulting these commitments using a procedure that includes third-partyproducts are to achieve the sustainable development contribu- independent assurance (ICMM 2010a).tion that is being demanded by society. The ICMM principles and position statements as of 2010 Application of these ideas is not simply a greening phe- are summarized in Figure 16.2-1. Just as many definitions andnomenon; it is related as much to well-being and security of principles have been proposed, so too have many organizingpeople as the environment. And, interestingly, the mining frameworks been designed to bring theory to action. A com-industry’s capacity to deal with the environmental aspects parative analysis of about 30 such characterizations or frame-is currently stronger than its ability to address the full range works is found in Hodge 1997.of social aspects. This is likely because many environmental Almost three decades before the popularization of sustain-issues can be addressed through hard scientific and technical able development ideas, geographer Walter Firey pointed outsolutions, whereas social issues often require soft behavioral- that three broad groupings of knowledge were pertinent to natu-type solutions, which can be much harder to design and imple- ral resource use (Firey 1960; and see discussion in Hodge 1997):ment—and which often fall outside the engineer’s training. 1. Ecological (environmental) These ideas also veer sharply away from thinking in 2. Ethnological (social/culture)terms of a trade-off between human and ecosystem well- 3. Economicbeing—it is not a balancing act that pits people against theenvironment. There are obviously many small trade-offs in In the late 1980s, Firey’s three-part model of natural resourceany practical application: between interests, between compo- use was adopted by a number of those attempting to opera-nents of the ecosystem, across time, and across space. This tionalize the concept of sustainable development (Mitchellis particularly the case for mining and the related process of 1991). Since then, the three-part environmental–social–
1668 SME Mining Engineering Handbook As with all sustainable development frameworks, a broad Components Results range of topics is captured. However, this example is particu- • Environmental larly useful for another reason. It is clear that the simultaneous treatment of all objectives sets up tensions that must ulti- • Social mately be resolved: In a comparative analysis of alternatives, — Cultural • Human Well-being different value sets might well judge performance differently — Political — Health • Ecosystem Well-being and, at the same time, place greater weight on certain objec- tives. This is a poignant example of applied sustainability in • Economic — Institutional practice. Here again the process of finding common ground can be seen as critical to practical implementation of sustain- able development ideas. Capitals: Natural, Built, Human, Knowledge, Institutional From a different but important perspective, as part of the World Bank Group response to the Extractive IndustriesFigure 16.2-2 Different characterizations of sustainable Review, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) prepareddevelopment and adopted a sustainability framework that consists of (1) the Policy on Social and Environmental Sustainability, (2) the Policy on Disclosure of Information; and (3) a set of perfor-economic characterization of sustainable development has mance standards on social and environmental sustainability.gained broad usage. A significant limitation of this approach, In its performance standards, the IFC addresses eighthowever, arises because of the lack of common treatment for topics:the social element. 1. Social and environmental assessment and management Many other frameworks have also emerged that make systemssense for the particular application: population health, healthy 2. Labor and working conditionscommunities, sustainable communities, foreign aid, urban 3. Pollution prevention and abatementdesign, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, indigenous peoples’ 4. Community health, safety, and securityneeds, and so forth. From one particularly important perspec- 5. Land acquisition and involuntary resettlementtive, the World Bank Group has used the lens and insights of 6. Biodiversity conservation and sustainable naturaleconomics to offer a “capitals” model to apply sustainable resource managementdevelopment ideas: natural, built, human, knowledge, and 7. Indigenous peoplesinstitutional. Figure 16.2-2 is a synthesis that brings a number 8. Cultural heritageof the alternatives together. Another perspective that offers practical insight comes Here again is another definition of what is appropriate tofrom an analysis of mine closure options that was undertaken include in addressing application of sustainability concepts tofor the Faro mine project in the Yukon Territory, Canada mining. The IFC sustainability framework is currently under(Hodge and Merkhofer 2008). In this case, a sophisticated review with the expectation that a revised package is targetedmulti-attribute utility analysis—driven by a multistakeholder for release in 2011. The IFC has also published a number ofprocess—was used to assess the alternatives. Multi-attribute Good Practice Notes/Handbooks (IFC 2006) relevant to theutility analysis is a form of decision analysis in which a set of practical issues of sustainability. Most importantly, the per-objectives is articulated and each alternative’s performance is formance standards along with the World Bank Group’sassessed against those objectives. The underlying principle is Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines form the basisthat the alternative that best performs against the objectives of the Equator Principles, which have been adopted by 67is the best one. The foundation of this kind of analysis is the lending institutions worldwide (the Equator Principles lend-articulation of objectives that can be translated to a scale, which ing institutions), many of whom provide financing for min-can be assessed in terms of a direction (e.g., more is better, less ing activities. The Equator Principles are a voluntary set ofis worse) and magnitude (e.g., how much better or worse). standards for determining, assessing, and managing social and The rigorous scaling and multi-interest process of assess- environmental risk in project financing. They are considereding and judging are complex. In the Faro analysis, two time the financial industry gold standard for sustainable projecthorizons were used in the assessment: (1) short, 15–40 years; finance.and (2) long, 500–1,000 years. Of relevance to this discus- Another important framework is the Global Compact, asion is the framework of closure objectives, because it was principle-based framework for businesses, which was estab-set to reflect an overarching government policy of sustainable lished by the United Nations in 2000. The Global Compact isdevelopment. Eight objectives were used for assessing closure the world’s largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiativealternative at the Faro mine (Yukon Territory, Canada): and states 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment, and anticorruption. Members are committed to 1. Maximize public health and safety aligning their operations and strategies with the 10 principles 2. Maximize worker health and safety (United Nations Global Compact n.d.). 3. Maximize restoration, protection and enhancement of the For their part, the Millennium Development Goals are environment eight international development goals that all 192 UN member 4. Maximize local socioeconomic benefits states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed 5. Maximize Yukon socioeconomic benefits to achieve by the year 2015: 6. Minimize cost 7. Minimize restrictions on traditional land use 1. Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger 8. Minimize restrictions on local land use 2. Achieving universal primary education
Mining and Sustainability 1669 1a 4a Suspension or Temporary Termination Closure 1 2 3 4 5 6 Detailed Site Operation Final Closure Exploration Investigation, 2–100 years and Postclosure Construction 1–10 years Design, and progressive Decommissioning in perpetuity Estimating rehabilitation 1–5 years Typically 1–3 years 2a Suspension or Termination Mine life cycle 1960s Mine life cycle 1970s + Mine life cycle 2000Source: Adapted from John Gadsby (personal communication) and MMSD North America 2002.Figure 16.2-3 Mine project life cycle 3. Promoting gender equity and empowering women society to walk more lightly on the earth. For example, all the 4. Reducing child mortality strategies needed for development, transmission, and use of 5. Improving maternal health renewable energy sources depend on mined metals and miner- 6. Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases als. Similarly, strategies to move to a carbon-reduced econ- 7. Ensuring environmental sustainability omy are only possible through creative uses of mined minerals 8. Developing a global partnership for development and metals. Thus, the sustainability-related focus is now appropriately Each of the approaches to capturing what sustainability on mining as an activity and its implications for the communi-means in terms of principles and frameworks is useful for the ties and ecosystem within which minerals are embedded. Atrelevant driving application. There is no single panacea that any given site, whether a mining, smelting, refining, primaryapplies in all cases. However, taken together they capture the metals manufacturing, or recycling operation, there is a begin-breadth of issues and topics that must be considered. ning and end: No mining/mineral activity can be expected to have an indefinite life span. However, the implications ofNONRENEWABLE NATURE OF MINING, MINERALS, that activity (not only as a direct result of the activity but alsoAND METALS through the product that is produced) go on indefinitely.Much of the literature through the 1980s and 1990s focused In that sense, mining/mineral activities serve as a bridgeon renewable resource management and the idea of living off to the future. The sustainability challenge is to ensure that thethe interest of a continuing core stock. For some, nonrenew- implications of mining activities and the products that resultable resource-related activities such as mining simply did not are net positive for people and ecosystems over the long term:fit into the sustainability concept, although the hat might be It is the well-being of human society and the enveloping eco-tipped toward recycling and reuse of nonrenewable materials systems that need sustaining. Limited-term mining projectsas helpful strategies. can serve sustainability objectives if they are designed and One result of this early emphasis was the marginaliza- implemented in ways that ensure they meet that challenge.tion, to a great extent, of concerns and perspectives about non-renewable resources. Interestingly, the fact that minerals are BOUNDARY CONDITIONS FOR APPLYINGnonrenewable (or stock) resources and, in some sense, fixed SUSTAINABILITY TO MININGin absolute quantity turns out to be relatively unimportant Bringing sustainability ideas into mine design has a signifi-from a sustainability perspective—at least at the macro scale cant impact on mine design boundary conditions. Four aspects(MMSD North America 2002). The nonrenewable character of boundary conditions apply in this case, each of whichof minerals received a great deal of attention in the literature has implications for setting the time and space dimensionsfrom 1950 into the 1970s. However, the long statistical record and helps to identify the system components that must beof continued output at relatively constant prices, together with considered:growing understanding first of environmental issues and thenof sustainability, has served to deemphasize this concern. At 1. Mine project life cycle (Figure 16.2-3)the same time, recognition is growing that the products of 2. Mineral life cycle (Figure 16.2-4)mining are needed both to provide for the world’s popula- 3. Time horizon (Table 16.2-1)tion and, even more so, to support approaches that will allow 4. Communities of interest
1670 SME Mining Engineering Handbook Table 16.2-1 Perspectives on the time horizons for applied sustainability Exploration Perspective Typical Time Horizon Waste, Environmental, and Social Stress and Restoration Financial/tax cycle Annual or quarterly Reserves Election cycle 2, 4, or 5 years Standard engineering design life Up to 50 years Mining and Milling Social time horizon (seven generations) Up to 200 years Environmental time horizon 200 to 10,000+ years Concentrate Source: Adapted from Freeze 1987. Primary Smelting Secondary Smelting and Refining and Refining and civil society organizations—and is not yet fully under- stood or appreciated. The fourth and final aspect of defining the boundary con- First Products ditions for applying sustainability relates to identifying the Recycle communities of interest that must be considered in the mine Manufacturing design, operation, and closure process. In times past, a com- pany and government would simply come to a bilateral agree- ment on conditions that would govern mine activities. Today Final Products: that is no longer the case. Many interests play active roles, and End Uses the definition of those roles itself requires great care and atten- tion. Interests important to mining areFigure 16.2-4 Mineral life cycle • Industry (investors, employees, industry associations, other companies); • Support services (financial, consultants, contractors, First, the mine design process must take into consider- suppliers);ation the full life cycle of a mine project. Many of the greatest • Government (federal, state/provincial, county/regionalproblems facing the mining industry today stem from the fact district, local);that this has not been done in the past. In the 1960s, the mine • Indigenous people and their organizations;design process was limited to the end of operations. In the • Organized labor;1970s and driven by rising environmental consciousness, the • Mining-affected communities (by economic, social, and/need for mine reclamation gave rise to concerns about clo- or environmental [e.g., watershed] dependency);sure, which at the time focused on cleaning and grooming a • NGOs or civil society organizations; andsite, with revegetation being a key activity. It is only in the • Academic, learning, and research and development sup-last decade that the realization has set in that a postclosure port (universities, technical schools, private and publicphase can in some cases extend indefinitely because of the research centers).geochemical processes at work in waste rock piles, tailings,and exposed workings. These give rise to potential liabilities SEVEN QUESTIONS TO SUSTAINABILITYthat must be factored into annual financial statements and the One product of the mining industry’s MMSD project was acalculation of share value. template aimed at assessing the compatibility between mining Second, the mine design process must consider the min- operations and sustainability criteria (MMSD North Americaeral life cycle. The mining industry has come to learn that it 2002; Hodge 2004, 2006). The 7QS offers seven queries formust not only consider the production of minerals and met- consideration in the mine design and assessment process. Eachals but also their use. Too often in the past, the mine design question is the interrogative form of a goal statement. Seen inprocess has limited its perspective in time and space to the another light, these seven goals define the application of sus-immediate mine operation. In fact, many significant implica- tainability concepts. The technique of using the interrogativetions extend across space and time in a kind of ripple effect form in this way is drawn from the accounting profession’s(Figure 16.2-5). Some of these—both positive and negative— approach to auditing and assuring the validity and accuracy ofare significant. And all must be taken into consideration to financial statements.ensure that the full contribution is accounted for. The focus on applying the 7QS approach is not on how a Third, the time horizon to be used needs particular men- given mine can be sustainable—mining as a discrete activitytion. Table 16.2-1 lists different perspectives on the time cannot continue indefinitely—but on how the process of min-horizons relevant to applied sustainability. This element of ing and the products it produces can best contribute to sus-the boundary conditions for the mine design, operation, and tainable development. Thus it enshrines the conceptual shiftclosure processes has changed dramatically in the last few away from analysis and mitigation of impacts to analysis anddecades. The mine project life cycle shown in Figure 16.2-3 encouragement of contribution.illustrates how the time horizon evolved after the 1970s to The seven questions are summarized in Figure 16.2-6. Ineventually take into considerations the postclosure phase, this section, the 7QS template is used to systematically orga-which can sometimes stretch environmental and social obliga- nize the parts of applied sustainability, rendering their applica-tions of mining operations into perpetuity. This is new terrain tion more practical. (The material presented in this section isfor all interests—industry, government, host communities, modified from MMSD North America 2002.) In applying this
Mining and Sustainability 1671 Direct Outputs Benefits and Costs to People (Employees and their families, shareholders and investors, subcontractors, suppliers, community, region, nation, future generations) Indirect Outputs Indirect Inputs Direct Inputs (Benefits and costs to (Benefits and costs (Stakeholder Metals, Minerals, downstream consumers, to upstream engagement, labor, Metals and Minerals and Related operations, communities, consumers, operations, land, water, energy, Industry Products and ecosystems because communities, and feedstocks, reagents, of enhanced supply of ecosystems because of and supplies) metal- and mineral-linked demand for inputs) commodities and products) Benefits and Costs to the Environment (Environmental stress and restoration, chemical, physical, biological)Figure 16.2-5 Ripple effecttemplate, attention must be paid to the compilation and analy- 2. Ends. Questions 2 (people) and 3 (environment) focus onsis of both quantitative and qualitative insights. Ultimately in the end results that must be achieved and against whichassessing effectiveness, efficiency, and progress, four distinct the success of any project must be tested—human andsteps are essential (Hodge 2007): ecosystem well-being over the long term. 3. Means to achieving ends. Questions 4 (economy), 5 (tra- 1. Drawing the qualitative insight that comes through under- ditional and nonmarket activities), and 6 (governance and standing the story that is relevant to the object(s) of the institutions) cover the various means of achieving human assessment and ecosystem well-being. 2. Undertaking and compiling the relevant quantitative 4. Feedback. Lastly, Question 7 (synthesis and continuous measurement learning) provides the feedback mechanism that allows 3. Applying a systemic approach to synthesizing, setting managers and others to ensure accountability and to learn criteria, and judging significance from the inevitable mistakes, adapt and improve designs 4. Effectively communicating the results to different key as necessary, and celebrate the successes, giving credit interests where due.The 7QS approach encompasses four categories of insight: Effective Engagement 1. Relationships. Question 1 in Figure 16.2-6 (engagement) If relationships with those important to a mining/minerals/ deals with the state of relationships that are important metals project are unhealthy, the chance of achieving a suc- to any given project or within any region that is being cessful project—one that contributes to sustainability—is assessed (see Thomson and Joyce 2000 for a succinct dis- greatly reduced. Although this is a simple idea and one that cussion of this topic). A key issue facing many projects is is key to many successful nonmining businesses around the the sense that the distribution of costs, benefits, and risk world, application of this idea is only now gaining momentum is unfair. This sense can cause stakeholder reactions that across the industry. range from feelings of discontent to outright civil disobe- At any point in time, mining activities must align with dience and damage to persons and property. Although the norms and values of society as a whole. When it does, a detailed procedures will vary from site to site, the 7QS social license to operate is the result—an unwritten approval. approach calls for addressing this issue early and in a way If that alignment is not apparent, the social license will be that facilitates constructive relationships achieved over challenged. Within the mining industry, elucidation of this the full project life cycle. concept has been led by Ian Thomson and Susan Joyce (2008).
1672 SME Mining Engineering Handbook 1. Engagement Are engagement processes in place and working effectively? 2. People Assessing for Will people’s well-being Sustainability be maintained or improved? 3. Environment 7. Synthyesis and Is the integrity of the environment Continuous Learning assured over the long term? Does a full synthesis show that the net result will be positive or negative in 4. Economy the long term, and will there be Is the economic viability of the project or periodic reassessments? operation assured, and will the economy of the community and beyond be 6. Institutional Arrangements better off as a result? and Governance Are rules, incentives, programs, and capacities in place to address project 5. Traditional and Nonmarket Activities or operational consequences? Are traditional and nonmarket activities in the community and surrounding area accounted for in a way that is acceptable to the local people? Courtesy of the International Institute for Sustainable Development. Figure 16.2-6 Seven Questions to SustainabilityThomson and Joyce (2006) have also played a lead role inrecognizing the central role of the explorationist and juniorcompanies (that are the first to enter an area) in either creating Engagementlasting positive relationships or a climate of long-term tension.Working to entrench such acceptance is an insurance policythat includes both the ability to recognize meaningful changeand the ability to consider accommodating these changes. Dispute Reporting Informed Engagement Adequate Building a constructive engagement with the local com- Processes Resolution and Resources Voluntarymunity involves a series of challenging steps to (1) identify key Mechanism Verification Consentinterests, (2) learn how to listen to each interest’s concerns amidall the noise of existing pressures, and (3) develop a way for- Courtesy of the International Institute for Sustainable Development.ward for mining and metals operations based on mutual respect, Figure 16.2-7 Assessing the effectiveness of relationshipstrust, and integrity. It requires effort and resources, sometimes between operations and other interestsjust as much as many technical aspects of a project. And today,with the changing and growing role of many interests in society,if care is not taken to build the needed relationships, implica- A particularly important issue for the mining industrytions for proceeding effectively and efficiently on a project can is building effective relationships with indigenous people. Abe seriously undermined. At worst, physical conflict can occur. useful overview of issues relevant to this topic can be found A leading example of addressing community relationship in Render 2006. A current perspective on how to best achieveissues has been completed by Newmont Gold Corporation effective working relationships with indigenous people is pro-(2009). In this case, concerns over conflict led an ethical vided in ICMM 2010b. This is especially relevant for countriesinvestor to ask for a complete review of the relationships where the legal system does not provide strong protections forbetween Newmont operations and its host communities. The indigenous peoples. In the last decade, indigenous peoples’initial work, completed over 2 years, included an independent concerns have led to the emergence of special impact benefitreview panel. Building on existing and past attempts to build agreements that formally entrench special arrangements foreffective relationships, it led to a series of company–host com- participation. A current tool kit addressing such agreements ismunity interactions that, in turn, changed Newmont’s own now available (Gibson and O’Faircheallaigh 2010).internal management system. One result was that, in 2010, Considerations important to building effective relation-Newmont was ranked 16th in Corporate Responsibility mag- ships are shown in Figure 16.2-7. Table 16.2-2 is modified fromazine’s 11th Annual List of 100 Best Corporate Citizens in the 7QS work and lists the ideal answer to the question,“Arethe United States (Corporate Responsibility 2010), the only engagement processes in place and working effectively?,”andmining company in the top 20 and joining such businesses as offers example indicators that can be considered for compila-Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Gap, IBM, and Microsoft. tion in order to assess how close a given mining or metals
Mining and Sustainability 1673Table 16.2-2 Engagement: Are engagement processes in place and working effectively?Question (Goal) Ideal Answer (Objectives) Example IndicatorsAre processes of engagement committed Satisfactory processes of engagement have been designed andto, designed, and implemented that implemented that Input • Ensure all affected communities of • Ensure all affected communities of interest (including vulnerable ⇓ interest (including vulnerable or or disadvantaged subpopulations due to, for example, gender, Output disadvantaged subpopulations due ethnicity, or poverty) are well informed and have the opportunity ⇓ to, for example, minority status, to participate in the decisions that influence their own future; and Result gender, ethnicity, or poverty) are well • Are understood, agreed upon, and consistent with the legal, informed and have the opportunity to institutional, and cultural characteristics of the community and participate in decisions that influence country where the project is located. their own future; • Are understood and agreed upon by As indicated by: implicated communities of interest; Engagement processes. Engagement processes are in place for all • Comprehensive mapping of interests and phases of the project/operation life cycle to serve as a mechanism for completed. • Are consistent with the legal, institu- • Collaboratively identifying desired objectives, best approaches for • Design of engagement strategy tional, and cultural characteristics of gathering evidence in support of achieving objectives (quantitative completed, including guidelines that the community and country where the and qualitative), assessment criteria, trade-offs and the bases for are agreed upon by all interests project is located? judging trade-offs; and • Full and satisfactory disclosure of • Overseeing the application of the approach to assessing the project-related information contribution to sustainability articulated here. • Effective implementation as signaled by participant satisfaction Dispute resolution mechanism. An agreed upon, affordable dispute • Dispute resolution mechanism(s) resolution mechanism (or set) exists and is understood by and • Effective mechanisms as signaled by accessible to all communities of interest. participant satisfaction Reporting and verification. Appropriate systems of reporting and • Systems in place verification are in place. • Systems working effectively from perspective of various interests Adequate resources. Adequate resources have been made available • Adequate resources available to ensure that all communities of interest can effectively participate as • Satisfaction with level of support needed. • Effective participation achieved as Note: Responsibility for ensuring that this capacity is in place rests assessed by company, community, with a mix of government, company, and the local community itself. indigenous peoples, and government The exact distribution of this responsibility should be worked out collaboratively. Informed and voluntary consent. The informed and voluntary consent • Broad community support of those affected by the project or operation has been given. Note: Inclusion of this factor does not imply that consent be given as a requirement for a project to proceed. The responsibility for approval lies with the relevant regulatory agency that is mandated by the laws of the country. Rather, this factor is included as a means to assess the extent of concurrence of those affected by a project. If that concurrence is high, the potential for achieving a net positive contribution to sustainability is greatly enhanced. In contrast, if negative feeling toward a project or operation is extensive, that potential is greatly reduced.Source: Adapted from MMSD North America 2002.operation is to achieving the ideal answer. In turn, the breadth movement came close examination of the social and economicof knowledge that Table 16.2-2 spans provides an indica- implications of mining activities, particularly in emergingtion of what any mining operation might be expected to take nations. One observation that emerged was that examples ofinto consideration when addressing this aspect of sustainable developing economies suggested a link between mining activ-development. ity and ongoing poverty. In these instances, was the presence of natural resources in fact a “resource curse” resulting fromContributing to Human Well-Being a combination of poor governance, corruption, and civil war?Most inside the mining industry take it for granted that min- There is a large amount of literature on this subject (e.g., seeing activities contribute to society in general, to investors that Davis 2009, Crowson 2009, Auty 1993, and Sachs and Warnerrisk their capital, to management and workers who are gain- 1995).fully employed as a result, and to the many host communi- More recently, work completed by the ICMM (McPhailties who experience the secondary and tertiary benefits that 2008) has demonstrated that the resource curse needn’t occurripple out from any mining activity. However, following hard if appropriate collaborative action is taken. The ICMM workon the heels of the rise of the contemporary environmental has identified six key areas of focus: (1) poverty reduction,
1674 SME Mining Engineering Handbook People Individuals Communities Distribution of Population health, Social and Responsibilities costs, benefits, safety, and cultural integrity and sureties are risks, and well-being are are assured assigned and responsibilities assured adequate is fair Community, Full social and organization, Worker health cultural costs, capacity, and safety are benefits, and risks infrastructure, assured have been resiliency, and considered dependency Courtesy of the International Institute for Sustainable Development. Figure 16.2-8 Example factors to consider in assessing the contributions of mining and/or metals operations to human well-being(2) revenue management, (3) regional development, (4) local operation? These factors draw on the foundation provided bycontent (the use of local labor and locally derived services socioeconomic impact analysis but use the lens of contribu-and supplies), (5) social investment, and (6) dispute resolu- tion. Table 16.2-3 then provides both the ideal answer as welltion. The key to success is the use of collaborative approaches as examples of the kind of indicators that might be consid-involving host governments, companies, civil society, and ered in assessing how close a given operation is to meeting thedonor agencies. ideal answer. As in the previous section, the range of topics One spin-off of the emergence of sustainability ideas provides a sense of what sustainable development means tostarting in the mid-1980s, the resource curse debate of the mining from this particular perspective.1990s and 2000s, and the ongoing challenging of the miningindustry by NGOs and in some cases host governments is a Contributing to Ecosystem Well-Beingrealization that much greater effort is required to understand, The relationship between a mining operation and its host envi-capture, and share the nature and extent of mining and metal’s ronment is the focus of the environmental impact assessmentcontribution to human well-being. No longer can it simply be and the resulting environmental management plan and relatedtaken for granted. environmental management systems. The approach used here A key issue requiring attention in emerging economies is builds on this foundation.a documented gender bias in mining whereby benefits (such Figure 16.2-9 shows one way of conceptualizing theas employment, income, training, education, and health care) environmental implications of a mining operation. It looks ataccrue largely to men and the local elite while most risks (such chemical, physical, and biological implications from both theas family and social disruption, domestic violence, alcohol- generation of environmental stress and the linked potential forism, HIV/AIDS, increased prostitution, loss of gardens for ecosystem restoration. The concept of restoration that is usedsubsistence agriculture, pollution, and water losses) fall on the here is not the idea that everything needs to be returned to apoorer women, the less advantaged, and the families they care chemical, physical, and biological premining state. Rather, afor (see Eftimie et al. 2009a and 2009b). A company purchas- robust ecosystem is sought that is naturally reproducing and sus-ing the bulk or all of its produce needs locally can be benefi- tainable. This is the domain of the emerging science and art ofcial for local farmers and landowners who see prices increase restoration ecology.for their produce, but this can also have the unintended effect A chemical, physical, and biological characterization ofof worsening the situation for the poor community women environmental implications is traditional and helpful fromwho may be unable to afford the higher food prices. These are several perspectives, including (1) often regulatory require-complex issues that require careful management approaches ments are organized in this manner; (2) the professionalfor any mining company. expertise that must be drawn on is often organized in this Figure 16.2-8 offers example factors to be considered in way; and (3) traditional education is offered in this way andanswering the question—“Will people’s well-being be main- therefore management’s understanding is often aided by thistained or improved” by a given mining, minerals or metals approach.
Mining and Sustainability 1675Table 16.2-3 People: Will people’s well-being be maintained or improved?Question (Goal) Ideal Answer (Objectives) Example IndicatorsWill the project/operation lead directly or The project or operation will lead directly or indirectly toindirectly to maintenance of people’s well- the maintenance or improvement of people’s well-being Inputbeing, preferably an improvement • During the life of the project or operation or ⇓ • During the life of the project or • In postclosure Output operation, or ⇓ • In postclosure? Result As indicated by: Community organization and capacity. Effective and • Presence of an organizational structure that links representative community organization and capacity and represents the community in project-related (knowledge, skills, and resources) are in place in the local decision-making processes community, including representation of women and the • Training facilities in place disadvantaged in community leadership and decision • Local education/skills level to serve project making. needs and provide basis for postclosure Note: Responsibility for ensuring this capacity is in place activities • Community access to the information and rests with a mix of government, company, and the local community itself. The exact distribution of this responsibility expertise needed to ensure that properly should be worked out collaboratively. informed decisions are made Social/cultural integrity. All communities of interest have a • Existence of community and regional visions reasonable degree of confidence that social and cultural expressed explicitly in development and land- integrity will be maintained or preferably improved in a use plans way that is consistent with the vision and aspirations of the • Presence of key indicative social structures and community. their states • Sense of satisfaction signaled by all interests that Involuntary resettlement and other interventions will be social and cultural integrity will be maintained undertaken in such as way as to maintain or preferably or improved (including separate consultations improve social and cultural integrity. with community women and representatives of Note: This category is particularly dynamic and will change disadvantaged groups in the community) as a project proceeds. • Social and cultural indicators identified as significant by the community • Preparation and implementation of community- supported and project-induced migration management plans to help manage the impacts of the inflow of outsiders that occurs when a mining development is expected or announced Worker and population health, safety, and well-being. • Baseline studies completed that include basic Improvement of indicators of worker and population health, demographics to track population change safety, and well-being are maintained or improved. (birth rate, infant mortality, morbidity rates, Note: Responsibility for gathering this data and information in/out-migration), household incomes, and so lies with a mix of company (in terms of workers), community, forth, including gender disaggregated data and government. However, statistics on population health, • Worker health and safety training and education, jobs, income, poverty, debt, • Population health community resiliency, and community dependency typically • Training and education fall to government. • Jobs, income, poverty, debt • Crime and security • Community resiliency • Community dependency Availability of basic infrastructure. The infrastructure to meet • Water supply, sewage and wastewater treat- basic needs is available to workers and residents. ment, power, communications, transportation, education, health services Consideration of all direct, indirect, and induced or diffuse • Direct, indirect, and induced or diffuse eco- effects. All communities of interest have a reasonable degree nomic, social, and cultural effects of project of confidence that all direct, indirect, and induced or diffuse • Changes in social behavior as a result of the effects have been considered and addressed. project Note: Requirements will change through the project. Full social/cultural costs, benefits, and risks. All communities • Satisfaction that all social/cultural costs, of interest have a reasonable degree of confidence that the benefits, and risks found across the full life cycle full costs, benefits, and risks to people have been identified from exploration through postclosure have been and factored into project or operation-related decision identified and addressed making (as it applies throughout the full project or operation life cycle).Source: Adapted from MMSD North America 2002.
1676 SME Mining Engineering Handbook Environmental Implications of Mining Chemical Physical Biological Stress Restoration Stress Restoration Stress Restoration • Discharge of • Closure of facilities to • Alteration of surface • Closure of facilities• Introduction of exotic • Closure of facilities contaminants to ensure human safety water or ground- to ensure human species to ensure human surface water in and ecosystem water flow systems safety and ecosystem safety and ecosystem • Wildlife mortality: operational effluent integrity • Restructuring of land, integrity integrity including contaminant and runoff revegetation of • Cleanup of alteration of • Restoration of ingestion and/or disturbed areas • Discharge of previously topography and topography and roadkill contaminants to contaminated sites, landscapes landscapes • Alteration of habitat • Restoration/ groundwater in natural or human- improvement of • Instability leading to • Increased stability seepage made • Provision of access wildlife habitat in failure (slope, dam, of slopes and leading to increased adjacent areas • Discharge of tunnel, stream watercourses harvesting contaminants to air in crossing, foundation) • Enhancement of • Restoration of operational emissions human–wildlife • Noise generation surface and and dust interaction groundwater flow • Discharge of systems contaminants in accidental spills to waterways and land • Transfer of solid waste to landfills and hazardous waste to treatment or storage facilitiesFigure 16.2-9 Chemical, physical, and biological implications of mining/metals operations However, the ecological system does not function in typical economics of a mine is such that the first few yearssuch a compartmentalized way, and those expert in ecology (generally, years 1 to 5) are usually very profitable, which isin general and ecological restoration in particular have offered necessary to serve investors who require a return on investedalternative ways of addressing this challenge. Figure 16.2-10 capital. Middle years are moderately profitable (generally,offers such an approach, and Table 16.2-4 addresses the years 6 to 15), and older mines are usually marginally viable.question—“Is the integrity of the environment assured over Company managers strategize from this perspective becausethe long term?”—and provides both an ideal answer to this it is their legal responsibility to protect the investors. If aquestion as well as an example set of indicators that, if com- large number of operating mines within their system are inpiled, would serve to facilitate an assessment of how com- the older phase, a company can be vulnerable. However, frompatible a mining/metals operation would be with sustainable the perspective of an employee or service provider, the minedevelopment An increasingly important emerging issue is is meaningful as long as it operates and provides employ-understanding the full life-cycle environmental contribution ment. And the concern from the local, regional, or nationalof the metals. Much remains to be learned about the technique government is that the mine leads to a lasting contribution—of life-cycle analysis. however that is achieved. These different perspectives all fac- tor into the sustainable development equation.Economic Viability: Project, Community, Nation However, they do not imply that a project/company shouldUnderstanding the economics of a project lies at the heart of be assuming responsibility for the local, regional, or nationalsuccessful mining from a management and investment per- economy. Rather, it is often possible that by working in col-spective. Two key factors govern project economic stability: laboration with in-country partners, benefits can be achieved(1) the licensing and fiscal regimes under which mining takes for the host community, region, or country that involve littleplace—that they are efficient, noncorrupt, and result in secu- cost to the company but have significant benefits for the host.rity of tenure; and (2) an equitable sharing of costs, benefits, Further, if unintended economic consequences related to thisrisks, and responsibilities between the host country and the broader perspective arise and are not recognized, they mayinvestor. result in a liability to the company over the long term that For any project to be successful, the deposit, the com- can have grave consequences, including the possibility of thepany, and industry must all be economically viable. The national/local business environment deteriorating to the point