People’s wellbeing improved in mining-dependent countries: ICMM report

RGN attended the launch of the International Council on Mining & Metals’ (ICMM) latest report, titled Social Progress in Mining-Dependent Countries: Analysis through the lens of the SDGs.

The report, which coincides with the UN’s high level political forum on sustainable development in New York, found that the lives of people living in countries that are economically dependent on the mining sector improved, on average, faster than those of people in other countries during the 20 years leading up to 2015.

Throughout the study, social progress was measured using the UN’s 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which cover a range of key sustainability concerns including poverty, education, gender equality, clean energy and infrastructural development.

The 25 countries that were classified as mining-dependent in the report experienced improvements in a number of the aforementioned SDG areas, and the report found that the people living in these countries are better off in absolute terms and outperforming countries that are not resource dependent.

Speaking at the release, ICMM’s chief operating officer Aidan Davy also highlighted how 21 of the 25 mining-dependent countries are closing the gap with some of the world’s best performing nations in terms of social progress.

Overall, mining-dependent countries improved by more than 78% in over 30 metrics that link to 11 of the UN SDGs, although results were uneven.

“ICMM’s experience is that, when we mine with principles, our industry can be a major development driver in some of the world’s poorest countries,” said Davy.

“This report challenges the widely-held perception that an abundance of mineral resources impedes economic and social progress. Instead the evidence suggests that social progress in mining-dependent countries over the past 20 years has been stronger than in other countries.

“This report will help sharpen the debate about the potential development contribution of mining within the international development community.”

Also in attendance at the event was Sheila Khama, practice manager for energy and extractive industries at the World Bank: “When leveraged correctly, mineral wealth is a source of sustainable economic development and such positive outcomes are the focus of the World Bank’s development agenda.

“In particular, to achieve meaningful social progress, communities must participate in decisions pertaining to mineral development from the onset.”

In a Q&A session after the official presentation of the report, Khama stressed the importance of governments and companies working together to deliver social progress in mining regions.

RGN was at the official launch of the ICMM’s Social Progress in Mining-Dependent Countries report, led by the organisation’s chief operating officer Aidan Davy.