Aussie mining industry already kicking ESG goals

<i>HOGSBACK<i> reckons the Australian mining industry deserves praise for seeking world’s best practice in ESG and adopting the Towards Sustainable Mining system developed by the Mining Association of Canada. However, the industry was already making great strides in this area with little fanfare.

 the mining industry is already making great strides in ESG.s

the mining industry is already making great strides in ESG.s

TSM aims to achieve this through regular and transparent reporting on safety, environmental and social indicators, including partnerships with First Nations landholders and communities.

It will show how operations engage with Traditional Owners while supporting social and economic aspirations and heritage protection.

Queensland Resources Council CEO Ian Macfarlane said the mining industry was already a major employer of Indigenous people in regional Australia.

"Critically, we are the largest per-capita employer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland, with more than 4% of our workforce identifying as Indigenous, the highest rate of any private sector, and on par with the representation of Indigenous people in the broader Queensland community," he said.

Mining services company Sodexo has increased the proportion of Indigenous people in its far north Queensland workforce from 12% to almost 40% in almost three years.

"Their Breaking the Barriers to Belonging program, which includes a focus on local recruitment and initiatives such as a buddy system, has certainly paid dividends and it's great to see many of the recruits have worked their way up through the ranks," Macfarlane said.

Turning to minesite rehabilitation, the Australian coal industry has been pursuing excellence and gaining the respect of regulators and local communities.

Completion of rehabilitation at Glencore's Ulan East Pit Area 2 last year showed there was a strong regulatory framework in relation to mine rehabilitation in New South Wales and that beneficial post-mining land use could be established after the closure of a mine, according to the Department of Planning Industry and Environment.

The final rehabilitation outcomes were developed in consultation with relevant stakeholders and government agencies, including the NSW Resources Regulator, which signed off on the rehabilitation.

The community was also involved in the consultation process.

"The rehabilitation was the subject of ongoing monitoring and maintenance in accordance with the requirements of the approved Mining Operations Plan," DPIE said.

"The scope of the monitoring program, which was undertaken by a specialist ecological consultancy firm, was designed to evaluate performance against the rehabilitation objectives and completion criteria."

More than 130 native wildlife species have been recorded since rehabilitation was completed.

Hogsback reckons there is a core of dedicated environmentally and socially aware mining operations that wish to contribute and live side-by-side their local communities.

They need to keep progressing and learning but they are definitely on the right path.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining Monthly Intelligence team.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining Monthly Intelligence team.


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