Contribution of the industrial minerals sector to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals through their global operations and initiatives
Many industrial sectors have already embraced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and integrated them into their businesses. Mining companies increasingly strive to champion their relevant role in poverty alleviation, recognising their activities’ economic, environmental, and socio-cultural implications through the full mine project life cycle. When managed properly, mining can catalyse improvements to the quality of life and the environment; and partnership with governments, local communities, and non-governmental organisations can bring a systemic change thanks to the implementation of SDG’s.
No matter how well recycling is developed, access to essential raw materials remains necessary. It is a fact that extractive activities depend on geology and where the mineral deposits are located; therefore, regional development and benefit-sharing are often essential components of operating a continuous social license. Sustainable mining development needs to start from the regional level, including implementing various benefit-sharing mechanisms to bring about a broader-based development.
In today’s world, population growth, urbanisation, social and economic development and even demands for a green or low-carbon economy contribute to an increased demand for minerals. Therefore, the critical focus is not on how mining can be sustainable but on how mining minerals and metals can contribute to sustainable development to provide a net positive long-term contribution to human and ecosystem well-being.