Minerals serve as the building blocks of modern society and are essential for sustaining the needs of 7.5 billion people on the Earth.As this population strives to improve its standard of living, mining has come to play a more vital role. Given the importance of mining contribution to nation’s development both in terms of GDP and employment generation, sustainability has become a key enabler for the mining sector and hinges upon efficient use of resources with adequate environmental management and social upliftment measures in mining jurisdictions.
Realizing the need to mainstream sustainability in the mining sector and to counter the negative perception of mining, FIMI, launched Sustainable Mining Initiative (SMI) in 2009. The overarching aim of SMI is to promote the tangible and measurable concepts of sustainable mining, assist the mining sector to inculcate sustainable practices in mining operations and tackle the industry-wide challenges of environmental management and socio-economic development.
SMI, in its 8 years of journey since 2009, has grown in stature for leading the sustainable movement in the Indian mining sector and serves as a driving force for change and continual improvement on issues relating to mining and sustainable development in India. SMI engages with all stakeholders including government, industry, communities, civil societies, academia etc. to positively influence Indian policy and regulations to promote sustainable mining.It has also been a great honor for SMI to be recommended by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) and subsequently entrusted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court to prepare the Reclamation & Rehabilitation Plans (R&R Plans) for ‘A’ and ‘B’ category mines in Karnataka in 2011 and to evaluate their production enhancement proposals.SMI has defined a pathway through its Code of Conduct and follow-up activities to help the mining sector address sustainability issues. The SMI Code of Conduct is a set of 10 sustainable mining principles for voluntary adoption by companies to become SMI members; and is also the first step towards sustainable mining in India.
SMI has evolved itself as an important encouragement for the inclusive and responsible growth of the mining sector. SMI has been effectively working with the mining industry to integrate sustainable practices and bring out the optimistic aspects of mining. Moreover, SMI has also been entrusted with high level engagements in mining sector both by the Government and the Industry.
SMI assisted the Ministry of Mines to implement Sustainable Development Framework (SDF) at individual mine level and has been an integral part in developing the Star Rating of Mine scheme.Owing to SMI’s contribution in formulating and finalizing the Star Rating Scheme, the Ministry of Mines has particularly recognized SMI’s capacity and appreciated its work.Presently, SMI is part of the 5-member Executive Committee constituted by Ministry of Mines to monitor the Star Rating Scheme in India.
SMI has considerably moved on the path of fulfilling its objectives and is dedicated to progress further this year.
This report provides an overview of SMI’s objectives, milestones, various activities and major achievements in the last year.