Looking forward 

It’s said that one should look at life through the windshield, not the rearview mirror; the latter is smaller for a reason. It seems apropos to offer that point as we look out over the coming year in mining since it is a new opportunity to work safely and productively as new benchmarks are set for success.

In December, a coalition made up of the Copper Mark, the Mining Association of Canada, ICMM and the World Gold Council began working to merge their individual voluntary responsible mining and metals standards into a single global responsible mining standard.

The process aims to take the best attributes of each organization’s standard as the foundation for developing a single standard that would be practical and implementable by any mine operator regardless of commodity, geography or size. Implementation would be overseen by an independent, multi-stakeholder governance body and a credible assurance process, both of which are to be defined and developed as part of this exercise.

Known as the Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMPs), their goal is to provide an overarching framework that defines what constitutes responsible gold mining and has been widely adopted and accepted by the gold mining industry. “Recognizing many of our members produce other metals as well as gold, and additionally, report across a number of different responsible mining standards and reporting frameworks, we believe it is appropriate to explore the potential in developing a single, global framework that covers all commodities,” said David Tait, chief executive, World Gold Council. “We strongly believe that responsible mining underpins sustained socio-economic development and…support efforts to increase wider adoption of responsible mining standards.”

The proposed standard could have the widest coverage of any voluntary responsible mining standard to date, with initial implementation by 80-plus mining companies with around 700 operations in almost 60 countries. The group is working toward a draft standard influenced by feedback and via public consultations launching in 2024. Mining hasn’t historically been transparent about responsible mining efforts, but that’s changing. And a seemingly one-size-fits-all approach in other industry areas has not always worked – but this one, as it develops, could be worth some second looks and careful examination. What begins with a strong foundation could have the most significant ripple effect for how the future global industry works.

Speaking of the industry’s future, check out the resource outlook from NAM partner Burgex Mining Consultants. Best ante up before you begin reading (you’ll get my intentional wording beginning on page 40).

Finally, as this issue goes to press, we have less than 75 days remaining until the ribbon is cut at the first West Virginia Coal Show, being held in Charleston, W.Va., in conjunction with the 50th West Virginia Coal Association Symposium. We hope you will register today to join us as an exhibitor or attendee at wvcoalshow.com.


Donna Schmidt 
Editor, North American Mining magazine 
[email protected] 
(740) 624-4642 
Twitter: @Dschmidt_NAM 

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