Washington, D.C./London, March 21, 2017—Water
scarcity poses a risk to companies in the mining and metals sector, but
it also represents a significant opportunity–to catalyze collective solutions
that improve water security and sanitation for all, according to a new
report from the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) and IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group.
Released ahead of World Water Day, the report,
Water, Shared Responsibility, Shared Approach: Water in the Mining Sector,”
finds that mining companies are increasingly thinking more collaboratively–with
local communities, government and other industries–about shared water
use. Such partnerships have already resulted in improved infrastructure
and better water management. But much more must be done, given that access
to water remains one of the biggest global challenges of the 21st century.
“Water is a critical resource for everyone,” said ICMM CEO Tom Butler.
“It is essential that all users—communities, businesses, governments–collaborate
to optimise the use of water. Although every location has its own challenges,
this joint IFC and ICMM paper shows that positive collaboration is beneficial
Lance Crist, IFC’s Global Head of Natural Resources, said: “IFC and ICMM
have a common goal of improving mining’s contribution to sustainable development.
We believe that the industry can be a partner for inclusive economic growth—by
sharing knowledge about the practical challenges of access to water, and
by learning from the experience of companies and local partners that have
overcome them successfully and sustainably.”
Such collaboration and knowledge-sharing was critical to the development
of the Oyu Tolgoi mining project in Mongolia—which is expected to boost
the country’s economic output by as much as 30 percent over time. IFC
brokered a set of water-management principles for mining companies—the
Voluntary Code of Practice. Eight mining companies operating in the country
became signatories to the code and have worked for more than three years
on a coordinated and consultative approach to water management.
“Water is life. Water is a precious resource. No one can live without
water. By participating in the water monitoring program I can now see what
is the water level, quality of water of my well and whether it is affected
from mining or environment impact. By learning this, you can protect
your water from contamination and find solutions to keep water safe in
Jargal Sumya, Herder participant in Energy Resources’ co-monitoring
program, Tsogtsetsii soum.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working
with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise,
and influence to create markets and opportunity in the toughest areas of
the world. In FY16, we delivered a record $19 billion in long-term financing
for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to
help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) was established in
2001 to improve sustainable development performance in the mining and metals
industry. Today, it brings together many of the world’s largest mining
and metals companies as well as national and regional mining associations
and global commodity associations. Our vision is one of leading companies
working together and with others to strengthen the contribution of mining,
minerals and metals to sustainable development.