Anthony Benham spoke about the top environmental and social issues that the mining industry can face from investors.

He covered in detail embedding ESG at the early stages of the project talking about possible risks, issues, and mitigation strategies.

Key take-aways 

Dos Don’ts
Get involved in the conversation about ESG Promise too much to local communities too soon without explaining the risks
Know the jurisdiction – they aren’t all the same. E&S setting, legislation, local hierarchies. Context-context-context! Assume major risks/ potential impacts will be dealt with at a later stage and are not material at exploration or Mineral Resource reporting stage.
Take cognisance of site specific issues – particularly water sources, indigenous peoples, artisanal mining communities and land use Prioritise international standards / guidelines / initiatives over local – host country/administrative region is most important to satisfy
Identify potential major risks and impacts early and indicate how these will be addressed Omit vulnerable groups of communities during stakeholder engagement
Involve ESG specialists in early studies (this doesn’t have to be expensive) Rely on ex-patriate workers – employ and train locals to leave a lasting local legacy
Read the regional mining code and understand the E&S commitments embedded in exploration & mining licences/permits Start community development projects without consulting and agreeing with local communities
Engage with local communities before exploration commences even if not required in permit Disturb habitat without conducting studies/surveys to identify route to least damage
Embed ESG good practice into exploration protocols
Conceptualise mine waste management as early as possible
Have a closure vision from outset of exploration
Think of climate change resilience