SIA Guidance Document

Guidance for assessing and managing social impacts


Launch of the Responsible Mining Index
18 April 2018
Netherlands, Europe
The Dutch government has supported the development of a “Responsible Mining Index” through a new organization called the “Responsible Mining Foundation” which is a bold attempt to directly compare corporate performance in the sector. 

The Responsible Mining Foundation (RMF) shares the position of many organisations and people around the world who support responsible mining but are concerned about the many urgent and compelling matters that impact societies and environments in producing countries.

Mining is a significant contributor to the GDP and exports of many low- and middle-income economies. As a sector with large-scale and far-reaching potential, mining can also support achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. However, the one-time removal of these non-renewable resources has often failed to catalyse economic development, and for too many people and too many environments, mining brings lasting disruptive consequences.

The Responsible Mining Index (RMI) supports the principle that minerals and metals mining should benefit the economies, improve the lives of people and respect the environments of producing countries, while also benefiting mining companies in a fair and viable way.

With this in mind, the goal of RMI is to encourage continuous improvement in responsible mining across the industry by transparently assessing the policies and practices of large, geographically dispersed mining companies on a range of economic, environmental, social and governance (EESG) issues, with the emphasis on leading practice and learning.

RMI assesses companies from the perspective of what society can reasonably expect of large-scale mining companies, and examines the extent to which companies are addressing a range of EESG issues in a systematic manner across all their mining activities and throughout the project lifecycle.

This first Index, RMI 2018, covers 30 companies from 16 home countries, including publicly-listed, state-owned and private companies. These companies operate more than 700 sites in over 40 producing countries, and the assessment covers most mined commodities, excluding oil and gas. The Index focuses largely on company-wide behaviour, while also looking at site-level actions at 127 mine sites, in order to provide a snapshot of information disaggregated to the level of individual mining operations.

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