Blog Entry

RMI Report 2020: Even the Best Mining Companies Fail to Protect Human Rights & the Environment

As the extraction of minerals continue to grow exponentially worldwide, including to supply increasing demand for energy transition technologies and batteries for electric vehicles, the Responsible Mineral Index 2020 (RMI 2020) concludes that "even the best mining companies" still fail to meet society's expectations to protect human rights and the environment.

The RMI 2020 reviewed "the economic, environmental, social and governance (EESG) policies and practices of 38 large-scale mining companies that operate more than 780 mine sites and together account for 28 percent of the world’s mining activity by value of production." RMI also assessed 180 individual mine sites in 45 countries against 10 basic social and environmental indicators.

Several of those companies and mine sites are Canada and U.S. based. None of them performed well.

In a RMI webinar hosted in early October 2020, large investors (e.g. BlackRock, Mines & Money) are calling for the mining industry to do much better, and for governments to step up and enforce stricter standards. They are also very concerned about the "unsustainable path" that we (the world, and especially wealthy countries) are on, with ever-growing consumption of minerals and materials.

All participants in this panel--including the World Bank representative--also insisted on the application of the precautionary principle and the need to know more about the potential impacts of Deep Sea Mining before even considering to venture in this direction.

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See also our recent blog on the growing liability of mine waste sites in Canada and the world.