In 2013, the International Council on Mining and Metals’ (ICMM) Council of CEOs approved the Indigenous Peoples and Mining Position Statement which articulates a progressive set of commitments that applies to all ICMM member companies.
The ICMM was founded in 2001 and today brings together 21 mining and metals companies – including AngloAmerican, BHP Billiton, Glencore, MMG, Newmont and Rio Tinto – as well as 35 national and regional mining associations and global commodity associations to improve sustainable development performance in the mining and metals industry and address core sustainable development challenges. ICMM members operate at more than 950 sites in around 58 countries across the globe and publicly demonstrate their dedication to sustainable development through specific commitments, public reporting and independent assurance.
The commitments in the Statement come into effect from May 2015, meaning ICCM members’ policy frameworks relating to Indigenous Peoples should be aligned with the position statement from that time onwards.
RES Director Leann Wilson welcomes the commitment of these high-profile mining companies to further enhance their pledge to uphold fundamental human rights and respect cultures, customs and values in dealings with employees and others.
“As a company that works closely with Australian Indigenous Peoples and the mining industry, we see the most significant change in this latest position statement as the adoption of a commitment by ICMM members to work to obtain the consent of Indigenous Peoples for new projects, and changes to existing projects, that are located on lands traditionally owned by or under customary use of Indigenous Peoples and are likely to have significant adverse impacts on Indigenous Peoples,” Ms Wilson said.
“In addition, supporting commitments address engagement with Indigenous Peoples, understanding their rights and interests, building cross-cultural understanding, agreeing appropriate processes for consultation and engagement, and participation in decision making."
“Although the commitments do not apply to projects that have already started the approvals and permitting processes at the time of the adoption of the position statement, these positive commitments will apply to future projects undertaken by ICMM members.”