Mining can have negative environmental and social impacts, but can also be responsible. However corporations have little impetus to act responsibly without being held to account by an informed and active public, and by strong institutions and governments which not only create but also enforce legislation. Yet what does such practice look like?
This book shows how the concept of responsible mining is based on five key principles or pillars: holistic assessment; ethical relationships; community-based agreements; appropriate boundaries and good governance. Together, these pillars circumscribe global best practice and innovative ideas to catalyse new and improved approaches to a sustainable mining industry. The author argues that these practices are critical to the future viability and social acceptability of the global mining industry and draws on a range of case studies, including from Australia, Canada, Central Asia, Papua New Guinea and west Africa.
The role of informed communities, governments and civil societies in holding the industry to account to achieve responsible mining is assessed. The book explains how companies judge what effects they may have on communities and investigates ways to improve the prediction and prevention of such impacts and to provide clearer, more meaningful public communication. It offers alternatives to common 'corporate social responsibility' practices in which mining companies adopt roles which are usually the remit of government. Ultimately, it looks to the future, exploring the essential pathways towards responsible mining.