Task Group on "Responsible Mining"
Appointed on 8th May 2017 by the IAPG Secretary General
(by Nikolaos Arvaniditis)
Our modern society is totally dependent on non-energy minerals (NEM). They are essential for manufacturing and supply of renewable «green» energy. They also provide the materials to build homes, schools, hospitals and the infrastructure needed by sustainable communities. Despite the recent financial downturn across the globe, the demand for raw materials, such as NEM, will increase as attempts are made to boost economies and push the growth of manufactured goods. A continuous supply of minerals will, in other words, be necessary also in the future.
There is no doubt that mining can bring positive benefits to the host countries but these can come at a cost to the environment and local communities if the mines are not managed properly. The fundamental aim must be for the benefits of development to be distributed as widely as possible and for the negative impacts on people and environment to be minimized.
Mining-generated wealth has the potential to improve the economy, infrastructure and quality of life of the host country, region and community, and brings opportunities for economic growth and diversification. Mining generates revenue for governments through royalty and tax income. It also brings skilled employment, technology transfer and training for people, together with further jobs through the multiplier effect. Mining can bring substantial improvements in physical, social, legal and financial infrastructure.
If not properly managed, economic growth and development can come at a cost to the environment. While mining has historically affected its surrounding environment, advances in technology and changes in public attitude and management techniques mean that many negative impacts are now avoidable. Increasingly, mining companies are making efforts to reduce the remaining environmental impact of mining and to minimize the footprint of their activities throughout the mining cycle, including restoration of land and ecosystems after mining.
The goal of the Task Group is to draft a document on “Responsible Mining”, on values and concepts to be considered and their importance for future generations in the perspective of a sustainable development of our societies.
This document will give essential elements of reference to frame this important topic in an ethical perspective, in order to push different stakeholders to take into consideration (and possibly formally adopt) an orienting document which recalls them to the efficient and prudent exploitation and use of geo-resources, the respect of natural environment by minimizing the impacts of mining activities, the strong awareness of local populations and cultures, the adoption and application of high standards of quality and upgraded health and safety conditions in the working environment, the development of new innovative technologies and processes, and the implementation of eco-friendly and socio-friendly best practices.
White Paper on Responsible Mining
Nikolaos Arvanitidis, Jan Boon, Pekka Nurmi, Giuseppe Di Capua
With the contribution of:
Vitor Correia, Roberto Lencina, David Ovadia, Mark Rachovides, Ian Thomson
Approved by the IAPG Executive Council on 1 December 2017
(read more below in the page)
Giuseppe Di Capua
Jan Boon (Canada)
He has a Ph.D. in geochemistry. He retired in 2007 after a career that included teaching physical chemistry and research on tropical soils, oil sands research, and leadership of the Alberta Geological Survey and the Geological Survey of Canada. Since then he obtained an M.A. degree in globalization and international development and a Ph.D. degree in sociology, with his studies focusing on social responsibility in mineral exploration and mining. Most of these studies were carried out in Latin America. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Centre for Excellence in CSR (Canada), and has been a member of the CSR Committee and is a member of the International Affairs Committee of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. He currently is a member of the Environment and Social Responsibility Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining and of the Instituto de Ingenieros de Minas del Perú.
Pekka Nurmi (Finland)
Professor Pekka A. Nurmi graduated and gained his Ph.D. at the University of Helsinki. He has a long career at the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), and is currently the Director of Science and Innovations, and the vice of the Director General. He has been actively involved in developing RDI programmes, research co-operation and projects in Finland and internationally, and in promoting Finland's mineral opportunities for the global mining industry. He has published some 90 papers mainly on economic geology. In 2010 he led the expert group preparing Finland's minerals strategy, and he is one of the developers of Finland's Green Mining concept. He is a high level group member of the European Technology Platform on Sustainable Mineral Resources. He a Steering Group member of the EIT RawMaterials Baltic Sea Co-location Centre. He has been awarded on research which led to the discovery of the Orivesi gold mine, and as an editor of the Finnish science book of the year.
Nikolaos Arvanitidis (Sweden)
He is an Economic Geologist with more than 40 years as Researcher at the Geological Institute of Stockholm University in Sweden, Project Manager on mineral exploration and development projects and Regional Division Director at the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration (IGME) in Greece, Senior Specialist at the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) and presently Head of Economic Geology Division at the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU). He is Former Chair of the Mineral Resources Expert Group at EuroGeoSurveys (EGS) and Member of the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Mineral Resources (ETP SMR). Active member of the Raw Materials Supply Group, the Ad hoc Working Group on defining critical raw materials, the European Rare Earths Competency Network (ERECON) and the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) of the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials. He has been actively involved in more than 25 EU R&D and R&I minerals related projects, since 1984, as coordinator and participant, and currently in EURARE, ProSUM, X-Mine, FORAM, SCRREEN.
Giuseppe Di Capua (Italy)
He is a research geologist at the Italian Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) in Rome (Italy). He has been research unites coordinator in Italian earthquake-engineering projects and responsible for the INGV Seismological Projects from 2012 to 2015. He is Former Scientific Secretary of the Italian National Group for the Defense against Earthquakes - GNDT (from 1998 to 2004). He is Task Leader of the European Project ENVRI-Plus and member of the Editorial Board of Episodes (the IUGS scientific journal) from January 2017. He is founder member and treasurer of the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics. He has been member of the IAPG drafting committee of the Cape Town Statement on Geoethics.