Responsible water stewardship in the mining sector
The International Council on Metals (ICMM) has published a comprehensive new approach to managing water around mining and metals operations, in guidance that details the priorities of all water users throughout the water catchment, as well as the water usage of the operation itself.
The new Practical guide to catchment-based water management sets out a collaborative approach to water management that considers the needs, concerns and priorities of other water users and promotes inclusive and ongoing engagement with all stakeholders.
The document is structured as an interactive and informative prompt to guide companies in the development of their water strategies and plans in accordance with the local context and hydrology in which mining and metals operations take place.
Developed through rigorous and extensive consultation across the mining and metals industry, with other industries and with world-recognized water management experts, the guidance provides an effective tool for planning and managing responsible mining operations.
It can serve as an important reference for stakeholders in civil society, the financial industry, policymakers and others to facilitate and encourage collaborative action on the management of water resources across all water users.
The guide was launched on Tuesday 10 February at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa at a high-level roundtable co-hosted with the International Finance Corporation.
The session included South Africa’s Minister of Water and Sanitation, Hons Nomvula Mokonyane and representatives from Water Aid, BHP Billiton and Anglo American.
This guide supports ICMM members and other interested industry stakeholders to understand the relevance, risks and opportunities of a catchment-based approach to water risk management and support companies to define and deliver their own catchment-based water risk management strategies.
The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) was established in 2001 to act as a catalyst for performance improvement in the mining and metals industry.
ICMM brings together 21 mining and metals companies as well as 35 national and regional mining associations and global commodity associations to maximize the contribution of mining, minerals and metals to sustainable development.