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April 7, 2022updated 08 Apr 2022 8:21am

Responsible Mining Foundation to close

The foundation had encouraged responsible mining efforts through extensive data collection, reporting, and community-company engagement.

By Zachary Skidmore

The Responsible Mining Foundation (RMF) has announced it will cease activities over the next few months. The RMF cited a lack of independent long-term co-funding needed to continue the extensive research required to produce their annual Responsible Mining Index (RMI) and its broad stakeholder engagement.

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Founded in 2012, the RMF aimed to articulate what society expects from responsible mining companies worldwide, ensuring that mining has a tangible benefit to the economies, lives, and environments of producing countries.

The Responsible Mining Index

Central to the RMF’s activities was the production of the annual RMI. The 2022 report covered 40 companies, from 22 home countries, that control more than 1,000 mine sites across 57 countries. The report covered most mined commodities and is highly interactive, filtering by company, country, and commodity.

The 2022 report generated significant interest, with over 1,100 people from 96 countries registered for the recent launch. However, in a press release, the RMF stressed that despite interest in responsible mining standards, the evidence on the ground was limited.

Legacy

The RMF leaves a significant legacy. Firstly, in developing the RMI framework to provide accurate information on how responsible mining companies are and whether they adhere to key environmental, social and governmental principles.

The RMF has also pioneered the release and publication of disaggregated mine site data within places where harmful impacts have been concentrated. The data accumulated assesses the policies and practices of many large mining companies, representing between 25% and 30% of the value of global production with operations in over 50 countries.

A central legacy of the RMF will be its actions to support the engagement of communities and companiy. The development of the Mine Site Assessment Tool allows stakeholders to engage independently with any of the tens of thousands of mine sites around the world and also provides an entry point for constructive engagement, agenda-setting, and awareness-raising on the basics of responsible mining.

Despite its success, the RMF stated: “There is so much more to be done before responsible mining becomes a reality. And we all have a role to play. As consumers and citizens, we are the beneficiaries of mining products, so one can say that ‘we are all mining’. It remains up to each of us to continue to speak up and ensure continuous momentum to achieve the normalisation of responsible mining.”

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