Indaba 2017 Sustainability Roundtables
The IGF sponsored an afternoon of roundtable discussions at Indaba 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa on Tuesday, February 7, 2017.
The Roundtables on Sustainable Development and Mining featured a broad range of conversations on substantive issues while also presenting valuable networking opportunities.
Participants from government, the private sector, international organizations, and academia exchanged views with leading experts and fellow practitioners from around the mining world on key issues relating to the linkages between mining and sustainable development.
Each roundtable was moderated by a regional or international specialist with expertise on topics such as: managing ASM zones; ASM formalization; mine closure; extracting value from waste; mineral policy and legal reforms; the social license to operate; local purchasing; local content; and resource-based industrialization.
We invite you to read further for a breakdown of experts and topic discussed:
Formalization of ASM: Approaches, risks and benefits.
Moderator: Dr. Mamadou Barry, Senior Mining Specialist, the World Bank (Table 1)
- Table 1 discussed the approaches, risks and benefits associated with the formalization of the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector. Africa’s mining sector is characterized by widespread informality with the majority of ASM operations lacking any legal title. This informality deprives governments of important financial resources, while poor conditions (environmental, social, health and safety) prevent the sector from delivering on important social objectives, such as generating formal employment, economic diversification, and improving quality of life in mining communities. Experience from the World Bank shared with participants included ASM database and mapping platforms aimed at improving government policy development.
Managing ASM Zones: Implementation challenges and opportunities.
Moderator: Dr. Klaus Steinmüller, Senior Researcher, BGR – Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (Table 2)
- Table 2 discussed existing global experience with the establishment of “ASM zones” in order to help prevent conflicts with large-scale mining (LSM) enterprises. A focus of the discussion was on implementation challenges and opportunities associated with ASM zones. BGR is currently developing procedures that will assist governments to identify, designateand administer such ASM zones. The procedures will provide additional practical recommendations on the implementation of the “IGF Guidance for Governments on Managing Artisanal and Small-scale Mining” with regard to ASM zones.
Mine life cycle planning: What are the keys to a successful post mining transition?
Moderator: David Noko, Executive Vice President, Sustainable Development, Anglo Gold Ashanti (Table 3)
- Table 3 discussed how a community, company and country transition when mines are closed. It also highlighted how mine life cycle planning – from cradle to grave – must always include closure. Closure costs have historically been grossly understated because mining companies see this as unfavourable to the “health of balance sheets”. Social costs are also often missed and future sustainability costs are excluded – it is best to deal with these issues during production while the mine is still generating cash. Development of local skill (and diversifying them) to stimulate alternative enterprises and local enterprise development were part of the discussion.
Local content policies: Optimizing mining’s contribution to sustainable development.
Moderator: Jerry Ahadjie, Assistant Manager, Sectoral Policy and Planning, Minerals Commission, Ghana (Table 4)
- Table 4 discussed the role governments can play in optimizing mining’s contribution to sustainable development through local content policies. Existing market based initiatives in the mining sector were also discussed. This roundtable discussion supported the development of a guidance document being developed by the IGF that will include development of a policy framework and implementation guidelines for governments.
Building the social licence to operate through transparency and inclusive dialogue.
Moderator: Dr. Ndougsa Mbarga Theophile, Director of Geology, Ministry of Mines, Industry & Technological Development, Cameroon (Table 5)
How does the Development Minerals sector contribute to helping achieve the SDGs?
Moderator: Vincent Kedi, Principal Engineer (Mining), Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda (Table 6)
- ‘Development Minerals’ are non-metallic minerals and materials that are mined, processed, manufactured and used domestically in industries and have a high degree of economic linkage and utilization close to the location where the commodity is mined. They include industrial minerals, like gypsum and salt; construction materials, like sand and gravel; dimension stones, like marble and granite; and semi-precious stones, like garnet and tourmaline. Development Minerals have a low unit value because they are mainly high volume but their place value can be high (influenced by geography and distance to market) as well as their value to development. They directly contribute to the infrastructure, manufacturing, construction and agriculture sectors of the economy, and are therefore important for national economic development and industrialization and hence the realization of the SDGs.
Value from Waste: How does technology, regulation, economic incentives come together to develop novel solutions?
Moderator: Dr. Dee Bradshaw, South African Research Chair: Mineral Beneficiation, University of Cape Town (Table 7)
- Waste concerns not only those in the industry or in practice, but all whose lives are intertwined with mining. Table 7 contextualized mining waste issues and consider holistic solutions to deal with ownership and abandonment of mine waste, the regulatory framework for managing mine waste, the waste-water-waste cycle, waste and sustainable development, dust management, secondary mining and other related issues.
Effective mining policy and legal reforms: Prerequisites, regulatory mechanisms and capacity
Moderator: Clémence Nare, Outreach and Engagement Manager, IGF (Table 8)
- Table 8 discussed ways and means to ensure policies and laws can be reformed in a manner that will ensure greater effectiveness and improved compliance with international best practices in a context of sustainable development. Mining regimes in Africa are typically designed with the objective of attracting foreign investment and enhancing state revenues from the mining sector, with a view to promoting sustainable development. However, many reforms fall short of these goals as they fail to integrate critical features. The discussion focused on the pre-requisites, capacities and mechanisms to ensure that reform efforts undertaken by governments are indeed effective, and that relevant procedures and substantive tools as well as technical and administrative capabilities are leveraged to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of the proceeds of mining activities between governments, mining companies and local communities.
Resource-based industrialisation: Can countries leverage mining to diversify their economies in a sustainable manner?
Moderator: Isabelle Ramdoo, Senior Linkages and Investment Advisor, African Minerals Development Centre/UNECA (Table 9)
- Table 9 discussed how countries can diversify their economies in a sustainable manner, by using the opportunities of having raw materials to develop industries or services to supply not only the mining industry but also the broader economy. Discussions included the key drivers for this to work; the experience of countries and industries in successes and failures; expectations and policy instruments that can help achieve this objective; and the types of PPP that would work.
Building capabilities to meet the evolving needs of the mining sector and beyond
Moderator: Claudine Sigam, Head of Human and Institutional Capacity Workstream, African Minerals Development Centre/UNECA
- Table 10 discussed innovative approaches that will build capabilities to drive structural transformation through industrialization. The discussion included how to create platforms for cluster development bringing together research, innovation, skills, and development in a way that supports greater local participation in the mineral value chain. This included strategies to skill, reskill and upskill, and addressing priorities of skills transfer, mobility, and vocational training.