The Asia Miner

APR-JUN 2019

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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the asia miner • volume 16 • issue 2 27 AROUND THE REGION A new study by the Responsible Mining Foundaঞon reveals weak disclosure of environmental, social and governance informaঞon by Toronto-listed small and mid-ঞer companies with mine sites in Australia, Burkina Faso, Canada, the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mexico, Kyrgyz Republic and Suriname. The study assesses mine-site-level disclosure by 12 mining companies and their 31 mine sites located across nine countries. The assessment covers 15 key environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues of strong public interest. The results highlight a wide variaঞon in disclosure levels, but also that stronger disclosure is within reach of many companies. Public disclosure of mine-site-level ESG data is essenঞal for companies to be able to develop trust-based relaঞonships and engage in construcঞve discussions on issues of shared interest with mining-affected communiঞes, workers, governments, shareholders, investors and other stakeholders. KEY FINDINGS HIGHLIGHT A LACK OF ACCESSIBLE ESG INFORMATION Overall, the scores on mine-site- level disclosure of ESG data are low, with an average score of 11 per cent, and only three of the 31 mine sites scoring over 25 per cent. "Where companies do publish site-level ESG informaঞon, the data is o[en presented in ways that reduce its usefulness to stakeholders. This includes, for example, environmental data shared without informaঞon on where and when polluঞon levels exceeded limit values," explains Pierre de Pasquale, lead researcher of the study at the Responsible Mining Foundaঞon. According to the Foundaঞon, government regulaঞon of reporঞng clearly helps drive stronger disclosure on impact assessments or closure plans, amongst other things. Similarly, sites that are subject to requests from shareholders or investors to align their pracঞces with internaঞonal iniঞaঞves Major gaps but encouraging signs in ESG reporting and reporঞng standards, also tend to show stronger ESG data disclosure. The Responsible Mining Foundaঞon noted that the Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange, with the largest number of listed mining companies in the world, do not have any requirements in terms of ESG data disclosure by mining companies beyond the standard Canadian regulaঞons, though it does provide non-binding recommendaঞons. The weakest results of the study relate to working condiঞons. Many of the companies referenced are not able to demonstrate that they ensure the provision of appropriate safety equipment for all workers, or that they have effecঞve grievance mechanisms in place for their workforce. The best-performing site of the assessment is in Burkina Faso, which is neither the largest in terms of the size of its workforce, nor the value or volume of its producঞon. The study also highlights encouraging examples of leading pracঞce in systemaঞc engagement with mining affected communiঞes on the results of environmental impact assessments, and on the tesঞng of emergency response plans. STRONGER ESG INFORMATION DISCLOSURE ACHIEVABLE FOR MANY COMPANIES The mine-site-level ESG informaঞon disclosure varies widely among the companies. A few of the companies in the study already collect and collate some site-level data, as shown by their publicaঞon of aggregated company- level data. Stronger disclosure of ESG data is clearly achievable for many small and mid-ঞer companies, and without much addiঞonal effort. "Mining companies themselves stand to gain from strengthening their ability to 'know and show' how they are addressing these issues of public interest," says Hélène De Villiers-Piaget, CEO of the Responsible Mining Foundaঞon.

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