Emerging Risks

 

Overview

Mining is an intensive process involving potential social and environmental risks that, if not properly managed, can cause lasting negative impacts. A growing body of research suggests that these risks may be significant and associated with a variety of metals and minerals that extend beyond tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold. Governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), investors, customers and other industry stakeholders are increasing their expectations on private sector responsibility to drive responsible behavior deep in their supply chains.

Why Get Involved?

We have an opportunity and responsibility to include prioritized raw materials in our responsible sourcing strategies. As a multi-industry initiative, we acknowledge the challenges of achieving a state where industry can collectively understand and agree to its part in advancing responsible sourcing. The Responsible Minerals Initiaitve seeks to promote the common goal of understanding and contributing to mitigating the salient social and environmental impacts of extraction and processing of raw materials in supply chains, leveraging direct and indirect partnerships and using international standards (e.g. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights) as our guideposts. Together as an industry, and working with all stakeholders, we believe we can make a difference and commit to meet expectations of current and future market, legal and regulatory instruments.

RMI in Action

RMI is focused on helping companies identify and prioritize the salient social and environmental impacts of extraction and processing of raw material in international supply chains. Working with participating companies and cross-sector partners, we will seek to advance select initiatives to drive meaningful improvement in the mining sector. Throughout this ongoing process, RMI will promote member and stakeholder engagement, education and participation through an active advocacy focus on these issues. For more details, view these documents:

For mineral-specific documents, please refer to our overviews of cobalt-related activities and mica-related activities.

Risk Assessment in Raw Materials Supply Chains

Assessing social and environmental risks in raw material extraction and processing, and industry’s ability to appropriately manage such risks, remains a challenge for downstream companies due to the size and complexity of international supply chains. In addition to the difficulty of reaching suppliers beyond the first-tier supply chain levels, companies are confronted with a highly fragmented landscape of standards, initiatives and certifications related to responsible mining and minerals processing. Existing standards may focus on different issues and define varying performance and implementation requirements. Furthermore, standards cover different raw materials as well as types of mining operations.

The RMI will offer tools to promote a common understanding of best practices and a means to consistently assess risks in the mineral supply chain. Learn more about our Standards Comparison and Readiness Risk Assessment (RRA) here.