The future of the Australian minerals industry is inseparable from the global pursuit of sustainable development.
The Australian minerals industry is committed to contributing to the sustained growth and prosperity of current and future generations through the integration of economic progress, responsible social development and effective environmental management.
A number of objectives underpin these goals. These include:
- Industry awareness and effective uptake of sustainable development goals
- Minerals industry leadership in environmental practices and performance based on continual improvement and excellence
- Continual improvement in socially responsible minerals development including working with communities to ensure they benefit from the conversion of natural resources into societal capital
- Progressively increased credibility and awareness of the industry's sustainable development activities.
Enduring Value – the Australian Minerals Industry Framework for Sustainable Development
Enduring Value puts the minerals industry’s commitment to sustainable development into practice.
The Enduring Value framework drives continuous improvement of the industry’s performance on the social, safety and environmental aspects of its activities in three ways:
- It is a condition of membership of the MCA that companies accept the principles of Enduring Value
- It assists the industry to operate in a manner that is attuned to the expectations of the community and which seeks to maximise the long-term benefits to society that can be achieved through the effective management of Australia’s natural resources
- It provides practical guidance to companies on how to translate the ten principles of Enduring Value into practices that support their sustainable development goals.
The industry’s approach to environmental management centres on a goal of continuous improvement. Specific initiatives to give practical effect to this management approach include:
- Cumulative impact assessment
An industry guide to understanding, assessing and managing cumulative environmental impacts
- International stewardship
Supporting global harmonisation of chemicals management to protect the environment and community health with linkages to major global initiatives
- Land use co-existence
Supporting the coexistence of mining, agriculture and biodiversity conservation
- Water accounting framework for the Australian minerals industry
A leading industry initiative which facilitates nationally consistent accounting of industry water use, including quantity and quality, to drive water use efficiency and improved communication with stakeholders
- Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program for the Mining Industry
An internationally successful series of fifteen handbooks which cover leading practice in mining management for use by industry professionals
Investing in communities
The minerals industry seeks to maximise socio-economic value from the development of natural resources. Specific initiatives to give practical effect to this management approach include:
- Community investment
Sharing the benefits derived from resource development
- Human rights
Addressing barriers to participation in the minerals sector
- Indigenous economic development
Creating opportunities for Indigenous Australians
Safety and Health
The minerals industry’s number one value and commitment is the safety and health of its workforce, where everyone who goes to work in the industry returns home safely. Specific initiatives to give practical effect to this management approach include:
- Industry Guideline for the Management of Rockfall Risks in Underground Metalliferous Mines Reference Manual
A reference manual and guideline that provides underground mining and technical personnel with an essential source of information related to the management of rockfall hazards
- Blueprint for mental health and wellbeing
A framework to promote wellbeing, as well as reduce the risks and impacts of mental illness with directions evidence-based strategies which can be applied at company and site level
- Pocket guide: Mental health in the workplace
What to look for and how to help a colleague who may be going through a tough time